DTI: Key measures passed by Oct

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    LOPEZ

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed hope for the passage by October or “before the start of the political season” bills that aim to ease investment restrictions.

    Lopez told “The Philippines’ Role in Your Global Business Webinar” forum on Tuesday the economic team has endorsed to President Duterte the certification as urgent bills amending the Retail Trade Liberalization Law, the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), as well as the Public Services Act (PSA).

    Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo in the same forum said the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprise (CREATE) is sure to become a law by March 27, when either it is signed by President Duterte or lapses as a legislation, paving the way for a new incentive regime that would attract investors.

    “We remain committed in supporting liberalization to enhance our country’s competitiveness. Amending laws like the Retail Trade Liberalization Act , the FIA, and the Public Services Act together with CREATE, these reforms—and the review of other economic restrictions being conducted by members of Congress with the intention of removing barriers for entry—will attract more investments and create more jobs in the Philippines,” Lopez said.

    Lopez in his remarks said CREATE will rationalize, modernize and offer more relevant incentives to investors.

    Qualified activities or projects can enjoy the incentives package for a maximum of 17 years. These include four to seven years of income tax holiday and a 5-percent special corporate income tax rate based on gross income earned for 10 years, in lieu of all national and local taxes, among others.

    “We also remain committed in supporting liberalization to enhance our country’s competitiveness. This means amending laws like the RTLA, FIA and PSA. Together with CREATE, these reforms—and the review of other economic restrictions being conducted by members of Congress with the intention of removing barriers for entry—will attract more investments and create more jobs in the Philippines,” Lopez said.

    Rodolfo said with CREATE, a Japanese company producing motorcycle which recently expanded 900,00 units to 1.3 million is now looking at further increasing the local content of motorcycles it is producing.

    Rodolfo said this is because the expansion of supplier base could qualify for additional incentives under CREATE.

    Lopez expressed hope the 2020 decision of the Supreme Court allowing foreign firms to apply for regular construction contractors’ licenses as other Filipino firms can be implemented in the next few months.