Businesses appeal for financial help

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    LIM

    A new study commissioned by the Management of Association of the Philippines (MAP) showed financial help, digitalization and consumer spending are the key issues hounding businesses, particularly micro and small firms.

    In his speech at the Arangkada Philippines Forum yesterday, MAP president Francis Lim said the study of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P ) found that business enterprises, especially the micro and small ones, are appealing for more financial help in the form of access to loans, subsidies, and tax breaks.

    Lim said the findings mirror the results of the 2020 PwC–MAP CEO Survey presented during the MAP CEO International Conference last September.

    That study showed 49 percent of the chief executive officers said the government should provide access to financing and guarantees and 54 percent of them said there is a need for tax incentives.

    According to Lim, digitization also came up prominently in both studies.

    Lim added both studies mention restoring consumer spending as an ignition point to spur economic activities and eventually turn the wheels of commerce to normal.

    Easing restrictions and streamlining government processes also figured highly among the non-financial assistance sought by firms, Lim said.

    But one other concern that may not have shown up in surveys but is nevertheless timely during this pandemic is MAP’s call for the full implementation of Republic Act 11032, the Ease of Doing Business Act, to make doing business in the Philippines much easier than what was it before.

    “We welcome this move considering that we are ranked 171st place among 190 countries in starting a business. In the Asean , only Laos and Cambodia are ranked below us,” Lim said.

    Lim also highlighted the need to address the restrictive provisions in the Constitution and other laws.

    The MAP welcomed the progress of two key legislative pieces, the proposed Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

    “Of particular relevance to attracting foreign direct investments is CREATE which is a bold and historic economic reform pushed by the Department of Finance,” Lim said.

    The MAP sees CREATE as more than being a stimulus package to provide instant relief to businesses suffering from COVID-19.

    “ CREATE is envisioned to make the country competitive by drastically bringing down the income tax rates and providing other tax reliefs for corporations doing business in the Philippines,”