THE Board of Investments (BoI) has approved the registration for incentives of Iba Botanicals, Inc., an exporter of pure essential oils.

The Zambales project involves an investment of P109.5 million.

In a statement on Monday, the BoI said the essential oils producers plans to start commercial operation this month. It qualifies as an exporter covered by the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

The IPP serves as the transitional Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) pending the implementation of the SIPP, which will help determine investments eligible for incentives under Republic Act No. 11534, or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

“The company employs organic farming techniques, and is in the process of securing a third-party international organic certification. It will engage in the production of export products, particularly essential oils from ylang-ylang, vetiver and elemi species,” it said.

Essential oils are extracted from plants and have therapeutic applications. They are also used in perfumes, cosmetics, and food.

Essential oils with aromatherapy applications include those derived from ylang-ylang, lemongrass, patchouli, vetiver, castor seed, pili, eucalyptus, malunggay, sampaguita, sambong, and ginger, the BoI said.

The BoI said the project has a capacity of 35.6 metric tons or 35,688 kilograms of essential oils a year, with economic output projected at P245.28 million annually. It is expected to generate jobs in Central Luzon, the region with the third-highest unemployment rate.

Target export markets are the US, Europe, and Asia.

According to the BoI, the global essential oils market was valued at $10.3 billion in 2021, growing to $16 billion by 2026.

Iba Botanicals, which is located at ABS-CBN Eco Village, which is home to 85 indigenous Aeta families, will employ up to 80 workers from the tribe to work its plantation.

The output of the Eco Village is contracted until 2043 to Iba Botanicals, which was formerly known as Elysian Essential Oils Philippines, Inc. — Marielle C. Lucenio