Viability, job generation considered in possible COVID rescue

Viability, job generation considered in possible COVID rescue

MANILA, Philippines — As the government is looking to rescue businesses severely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Investments (BOI) said selection    should be based on jobs creation, overall impact on the economy and viability.

“If it were up to us, I will look at the strategic impact on the economy. It has to be those badly hit during this pandemic period,” BOI managing head and Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters.

He said it is also important to look at employment generation, as well as the overall viability of the business after the pandemic.

“Because when you bail out, your expectation is you will get equity and you need to earn, meaning you will recover what you put in,” he said.

As part of the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives, a National Emergency Investment Vehicle (NEIV) shall be created to extend loans or make equity investments in critically impacted businesses.

Under the ARISE bill, the NEIV will have an authorized capital of P100 billion.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez earlier said that economic managers are pushing for the creation of a new government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) to help firms with solvency issues due to the pandemic and are deemed critical to national interest.

He said they want the state run Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to organize a new GOCC that would make investments in companies important to the national interest and in need of capital in the form of preferred or common shares.

The amount of capitalization of the GOCC is still being studied.

Multilateral agencies, as well as local and foreign investment companies are also welcome to invest in the vehicle.