THE Board of Investments (BoI) greenlighted the P549-million irradiation facility in Tanay, Rizal, which qualifies for incentives under the tax reform package.
In a statement on Monday, the BoI said it approved the project of Irradiation Solutions Inc. (ISI) as a new operator of essential services under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.
The investment by ISI will cover the construction and operation of a commercial irradiation facility. It will use an electron-beam technology, technically known as Corad UELR-1015S-10 MeV Linear Accelerator.
The facility is slated for operations by June 2023, employing up to 43 workers.
The facility will mainly service the local importers, exporters and traders, earning through irradiation treatment fee charge.
The BoI said that “irradiation is a recognized processing and preservation technique wherein food and non-food products are exposed to ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, x-rays or accelerated electrons from electron beam machines.”
“This technology is responsible for the reduction of microbes or decontamination [among spices, herbs, cosmetic raw materials], quarantine treatment [fruits and vegetables], elimination of pathogens [frozen/chilled meat], sprout inhibition [onions, garlic, potatoes] and sterilization [in medical devices, packaging, bone grafts],” it added.
The attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry explained that the facility will boost the country’s food irradiation capacity.
Currently, the only e-beam irradiation facility in the country is owned by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute with an annual capacity of 440 metric tons (MT). The ISI’s facility adds 25,000 MT annual capacity.
“The project is aligned with the government’s Covid-19 response in building food resilience through the adoption of innovative technologies to reduce post-harvest losses and increase shelf-life of agri-fisheries products and food commodities.
It will also promote much-needed additional economic activity throughout the agriculture value chain through increased quality of production as well as enabling local products to be of export quality and thus be able to access wider international markets,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.