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Why Cebu
Doing Business in Cebu
Investment
Opportunities

Identified
Economic Zones

  Location of Industrial Lands
  Cebu Light Industrial Park
  Mactan Export Processing Zone 2
  Miranila Special Economic Ecozone
  New Cebu Township One Special Ecozone
  West Cebu Industrial Park
Cost of Doing
Business

Frequently
Asked
Questions

Business Application Forms
 
 
1. I am a foreigner and I would like to invest in the Philippines,
    what is the first thing I should do ?
  • If you are producing goods for the domestic market and there will be no export activity, you may register your business as a sole proprietorship under the foreign investments Acts of 1991:
    • Make sure that your business activity does not fall under the Foreign Investment Negative List which has two components: List A enumerates the areas of activities reserved to Philippine nationals mandate of the Constitution and specific laws, and List B contains areas of activities which are defense-related and which have implications on public health and morals;
    • Your initial paid-in capital under the amended Foreign Investments Acts (R.A 8179) must not be less than Two hundred Thousand US dollars (US$200,000); if your business would involve advanced technology as determined by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or it would employ at least fifty (50) direct employees, a minimum paid-in capital of One Hundred thousand US dollars (US$100,000) is allowed;
    • Apply with the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office where your business will be located and register your Business Name (BN);
    • With a BN Certificate of Registration, you proceed to get a Barangay Permit, Mayor's Permit & go to BIR.
  • If you will be joining a corporation or forming one:
    • Your corporation can be 100% foreign-owned if this is located in an Export Processing Zone or Special Economic Zone and qualify for incentives under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA);
    • Based on the type of business activity, your foreign equity participation will depend on what is stipulated in the Foreign investment Negative List.
    • Register with the Securities and Exchange Commission; get a Barangay Permit, Mayor's Permit & go to the BIR.

  • If you will be joining a corporation or forming one:
    • Your corporation can be 100% foreign-owned if this is located in an Export Processing Zone or Special Economic Zone and qualify for incentives under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA);
    • Based on the type of business activity, your foreign equity participation will depend on what is stipulated in the Foreign investment Negative List.
    • Register with the Securities and Exchange Commission; get a Barangay Permit, Mayor's Permit & go to the BIR.

  • If your products is at least 70% for export or if the activity is among those listed in the Investment Priorities Plan then your company may be registered and qualify for incentives with the Board of Investments (BOI):
    • apply with the BOI-Cebu Extension Office.
    • Your initial paid-in capital under the amended Foreign Investments Act (R.A. 8179) must not be less than Two Hundred Thousand US dollars (US$200,000); if your business would involve advanced technology as determined by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or it would employ at least fifty (50) direct employees, a minimum paid-in capital of One Hundred Thousand dollars (US$100,000) is allowed;
    • Apply with the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office where your business will be located and register your Business name (BN);
    • With a BN Certificate of Registration, you proceed to get a Barangay Permit, Mayor's Permit & go to the BIR.
2. What are my rights and privileges as a foreign investor?
  • As a foreign investor, the following are your rights and privileges;
  • Right to repatriate the entire proceeds of the liquidation of the investments in the currency in which the investment was originally made at the exchange rate at the time of repatriation.
  • Right to remit earnings from the investments in the currency in which the investment was originally made at the exchange rate at the time of remittance.
  • Rights to payments of interests and principal on foreign loans and contacts.
  • Properties represented by the investments or of the enterprises shall be exempted from expropriation by the government except for public use or in the interest of national welfare and defense.
  • The government except for public use or in the interest of national welfare and defense shall not demand properties represented by the investments or of the enterprises.
3. Can I, a foreigner, own land in the Philippines? What options
    do I have?

No, As mandated by the Constitution, only Philippine nationals or 60% Filipino-40% foreign-owned companies may acquire land in the country.

Foreigners, however, can lease land for a period of 50 years with the option of extension for another 25 years. Foreigner may, however, own buildings.

4. What advantages do I get in locating in an industrial estate?

In an industrial park, the basic infrastructures are already in place. Water, electricity' telephone and other facilities are already available for immediate connections. The road network inside and outside the industrial estate is already pre-developed. Proper zoning (industrial, residential, commercial and recreational areas) inside the park is also predetermined, with the industrial lots simply waiting for the construction of the factory needed by the locator firm. Moreover, the Locator Company is given the assistance in securing local licenses and permits necessary for the construction and operation of the business.

Industrial estates are normally divided into two areas: a Customs Bonded and a Non-Customs Bonded Area. If the locator company is highly import dependent, it is advised to locate within the Customs Bonded Area. Doing so, its imported (raw materials, supplies and equipment) will not be subjected to Customs Inspection at the port but rather at the company's premises inside the industrial park.

5. Other than the wage/salary, what other costs or benefits
    do I have to give my employees?

Based on the 1997 Labor code of the Philippines, the other costs/ benefits that have to be given to employees are the following:

  • SSS Premium Contribution
  • Service Incentive Leave
  • Medicare
  • State Insurance Fund/Employees
  • Compensations Program Benefits
  • Maternity Leave
  • Paternity Leave
  • 13th Month Pay
  • Pag-ibig Contribution
6. How will I import capital equipment? Are there
     restrictions in importation?

A company qualified for tax exemptions on the importation of its equipment must secure prior approval from its governing agency before actual importation can be made.

Regular importation is made through Authorized Agent Bank (ABB).

7. How will I import raw materials/supplies? Are there
     restrictions in importation?

The importation of raw materials has already been liberalized. Therefore the importer simply has to proceed to an ABB to open the necessary letter of credit or other modes through which payment will be made.

There are, however, regulated items that require clearance from the concerned agency prior to importation, and items whose importation is prohibited.

8. Application for Barangay Clearance/ Permit?

Barangay Permit is given by the Barangay where your business will be located. The fee is PhP 50.00 and the processing time is, at most, two (2) days.

9. How does one go about applying for a Mayor's
    Permit/ Municipal License to Operate?

To get this permit/license to operate, present the following documents at the Licensing Section of the Mayor's Office where your business is located:

  • Lease Contract of Building
  • Barangay Clearance/Permit
  • Application Form with sketch of Location of building at the back

The following fees are collected:

  • Permit Fee- .002% of capital declared if new or based on gross sales if operating
  • Business Tax- .0005% of declared capital
  • Zoning Fee- per Schedule
  • Office of Building Officer (OBO) Fee- per schedule
  • Garbage Fee- per Schedule
  • Cebu Fire Dept. Fee- 10% of all fees paid excluding the business tax

The processing time is one (1) week.

10. What is done at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)?

With the Mayor's permit, the following are done at the BIR:

  • Business Registration/Application for Value Added Tax (VAT) Number. Filing FEE is PhP 1,000.00 and processing time is three (3) days.
  • Registration of Books of Accounts. No filing fee; one day processing time
  • Application for Taxpayers Identification No. (TIN) No filing fee and processing time is one (1) week.
  • Authority to Print Official Receipts. The printer applies directly with the BIR in behalf of the customer. No filing fee and processing time is one (1) day.
11. What are the requirements of the Dept. of Labor and
       Employment (DOLE)?

Any foreigner who will work in the Philippines is required to secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the DOLE in the specific Region

12. What alternative visas can a foreigner have in order to stay
       in the country on business? How do I apply for these?
The government agency handling visa concerns is the Commission on Immigration and Deportation. Below are types of visas, their descriptions and definition for easy reference:
TYPE
DESCRIPTION
DEFINITION
9 (a)
Tourist / Visitor Visa
An alien coming to the Philippines for business or for pleasure or for reasons of health.
9 (c)
Seaman's Visa
A seaman serving as such vessel arriving at a port of the Philippines and seeking to enter temporarily and solely in the pursuit of his calling as a seaman.
9 (d)
Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor Visa
An international traders/investor with his wife and unmarried children below 21 years old of age engaged solely in carrying on trade between the Philippines and foreign states (Japan, USA, Germany) of which they are national or solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has substantially invested or in process of investing.
An alien employed in supervisory or executive character by a treaty investor/trader.
9 (g)
Pre-arranged Employment Visa An alien coming to pre-arranged employment with his wife and unmarried children below 21 years of age.
13
Pre-arranged Employment Visa An alien who seeks entry into the Philippines for permanent residence and who does not qualify under any of the category of non-quota immigrant provided under section 13 a to g; not exceeding 50 years of age of any one nationality for any one calendar year; with substantial investment in the Philippines.
13(a)
Non-qouta Immigration The wife or husband or the unmarried child under 21 years of age of a Philippine citizen if accompanying or following to join such citizen.
47(a) 2
Special non- Immigration Visa A foreign national under employment contract with BOI/PEZA registered firms, his spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
EO 226 Book III Art. 59
Foreign personnel of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
PD 1034 Section 7
Foreign personnel of offshore banking units of banks duly licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to operate as such, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
SIRV under EO 226
Special investor's Resident Visa (SIRV EO266) An alien, except nationals of countries that are classified as restricted and who are willing and able to invest at least US$75,000.
SIRV under EO 63
Special investor's Resident Visa (SIRV EO63) Any alien, except nationals of countries that are classified as restricted and who are willing and able to invest at least US$50,000 in tourist-oriented projects.
SRRV
Special Retiree's Resident Visa (SRRV) Any alien, except nationals of countries that are classified as restricted and who are willing and able to invest at least US$75,000 depending on the age of applicant.
13. How can I convert my 9(a) visa to an immigrant visa or to
       any of the above-mentioned alternative visas?

Normally visas have to be converted into 9(a) before the same can be converted to immigrant or other alternative visas, unless the present is still valid.

 

   
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