By Rey Anthony Chiu
While some part of the country remain lethargic with the almost stagnating global economic slowdown, Bohol enjoys a robust economic pat in the back with new investments surpassing the P1-Billion mark it has previously targeted.
And Governor Edgar Chatto ascribes the new investments uptrend with the enabling business environment the government and the private sector put up to entice the moneyed.
Chatto, in his State of the Province Address cited the Bohol Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) as a crucial innovation that made the economic jump-start easily noticeable.
While there is a strong Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a similarly investment supportive government agency in the Department of Trade and Industry, data from investments never could be easily hailed because most agencies involved in business permits and licensing do not always share data.
Moreover, potential investors find applying a business permit and license too much a hassle that somehow pushes them to avoid the mainstream, said Maria Fe Dominise, Bohol Investment Promotion Center head.
The solution was the establishment of the BOSS.
BOSS was established in 2009. It sets up under one roof a one-stop-shop for business permits and licenses and gathers all regulator agencies involved in legally setting up a business identity in one location. That way, the investor does not have to go across the city to go to another regulatory office and lose steam in the process, Dominise explained.
Here, legal business name and license processing is relatively cut short, and gathering of data becomes so easy, added Blair Panong, investment specialist at the local DTI.
“Today, the Bohol BOSS, lodged at the Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC), has achieved a record increase in investments,” Chatto, who was the chief legislator when BIPC was institutionalized, shared.
“Investments posted for 2011 surpassed all expectations. Total investments amounted to P1.3 Billion from 2,197 new enterprises, greatly exceeding our target, and posting a very impressive 64% increase over last year’s total investments,” Chatto told the Boholanos at his SOPA.
In addition, the governor said BIPC noted more women micro entrepreneurs, at 52% of total, and these enterprises have generated employment for thousands of Boholanos.
“This is further evidence of the increasing number of entrepreneurs who are confident about Bohol’s business enabling environment, he noted.
Already, 26 out of our 47 municipalities have installed business process and licensing systems, he pointed out.