Congressman Garcia assails the approval by the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the amended application for registration of the Bataan Petrochemical Corporation (BPC), which seeks to transfer the site of its petrochemical complex from Bataan, the original situs of choice, to the province of Batangas. The BPC’s original application for registration was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer but the amended application, changing the site from Bataan to Batangas, was not.
Is there still a need to publish the amended application in a newspaper of general circulation?
YES. The law requires the “publication of applications for registration,” hence, the payment of publication and other necessary fees … prior to the processing and approval of such applications (Art. 7, subpar. 3, Omnibus Investments Code).Since the BPC’s amended application (particularly the change of location from Bataan to Batangas) was in effect a new application, it should have been published so that whoever may have any objection to the transfer may be heard. The BOI’s failure to publish such notice and to hold a hearing on the amended application deprived the oppositors, like the petitioner, of due process and amounted to a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the BOI.