“In Cebu there are only two cities,” Atty. Elaine Bathan said. “Mandaue and the others.”
The remark was met with amused giggles from the audience. But the Mandaue City government is dead serious and determined in transforming the city into a world-class business hub.
With its goal of attracting more investments, the Mandaue City government in partnership with the Mandaue City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) held an investment forum last September 8 at the Oakridge Horizon. The event was attended by numerous delegates from the business sector.
Dionisio Ledres Jr., the OIC Assistant Regional Director of NEDA, gave a report on the macroeconomic situation of the region. He said that improvements in infrastructure, ease-of-doing business, and investment in human capital will be needed to sustain growth in the region.
In particular, Ledres noted the steps MEGA Cebu has took to address the infrastructure problem in the province. Last June 2015, a Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development was completed. The said study has been presented to NEDA on July 2015 and was subsequently approved for further feasibility studies for the priority projects and programs.
One of the attendees was Tom Grealy, president of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM), who gave a short discussion on the investment opportunities between Australia and the Philippines. He said that education and the BPO industry are potential areas.
New Zealand Trade Commissioner Bong Banal, on the other hand, gave a presentation on the trade relations between New Zealand and the Philippines.
New Investment Code
The revised investment code provides incentives to investors who engage in specific economic activities in preferred locations. Key investment areas include research and development, creative industries, clean water projects, and renewable energy. To avail of the incentives, qualified business establishment will have to be located in preferred areas in the city such as in the Central Business District and the Cabangcalan, Pagsabungan, Tabok, Tingub, Canduman Industrial Area.
The incentives come in the form of tax breaks to investors including a one-year tax holiday for an investment of at least P3 million and a green building incentive of up to 25 percent deduction in real property taxes for establishments who are BERDE certified.