The Department of Trade and Industry Region 02, in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, organized a Benchmarking Mission for Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officers (LEIPOs) to Investment Promotion Centers (IPC) in the Western Visayas, a bustling region. The Mission aimed to capacitate the LEIPOs to establish a functional IPC that would work towards an intensive promotion of the investment opportunities in their localities.

On August 22-25, 2017, some eighteen (18) participants, representing the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya, City of Ilagan, Cauayan City and Tuguegarao City visited the IPC of Iloilo City and Bacolod City, and the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. The group was headed by Ms. Zenaida Quinto, STIDS of the DTI-R02. 

Spending one day in each destination, the itinerary of the participants included a brief program at the city hall or provincial capitol which included a presentation of the best practices of the city or provincial IPC relative to their investment promotion initiatives.

The group had the privilege to have an audience with Iloilo City Mayor Hon. Jed Patrick Mabilog, an Urban Planner, and Vice Mayor Hon. Jose S. Espinosa III who both said that the rapid development of the city began when sometime in 1986, renowned and well-off Ilonggo personalities residing in Manila and their friends-businessmen were convened in a Business Forum and urged to invest in their hometown. That forum, according to the Vice Mayor, generated billions of investments.

Notably, the presence of ecozone proclaimed areas is a factor that significantly contributes to the influx of investors in these localities that were visited.

One other laudable best practice is that of Bohol province wherein their Investment Promotion Center and the DTI Provincial Office through its Negosyo Center work very closely together in promoting the ease of doing business in the province. A Business One-Stop-Shop (BOSS) operates year round in the provincial capitol and a Negosyo Center is set up at the provincial IPC.

Loaded with inspiring stories from the LEIPOs of the host LGUs, the very receptive participants surely went home with a lot of home works to do. They unanimously agreed to work real hard to replicate some, if not all of the investment promotion strategies adopted by the benchmarked LGUs that made them reached their marks today.