Working group to ‘refine’ CITIRA

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    The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and ecozone locators have created a technical working group (TWG) to come up with a final position paper incorporating the fine-tuned and enhanced provisions of the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA).

    Charito Plaza, director-general of PEZA, in a statement said the TWG’s work involves the refinements of the CITIRA to address the concerns of the stakeholders on their operations as well as on possible job losses.

    The TWG was formed a day after the PEZA board agreed to support the CITIRA at a meeting on October 9.

    “As DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and PEZA agreed to coordinate and work together for the fine-tuning of CITIRA, DTI has made proposals for the amendments to the current version of the CITIRA legislation in order to mitigate job losses and attract investment,” Plaza said.

    Plaza cited statements of DTI Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco at a Senate Ways and Means hearing on October 10 that CITIRA will likely lead to job displacement, including possibly in manufacturing firms under PEZA.

    PEZA in the statement also quoted the contentious provisions raised by Taningco at the hearing.

    These are the transfer of the functions of the investment promotions agencies to the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB); removal of the 5 percent gross on income earned and limiting the availment period for income tax holidays to five years;

    At the PEZA board meeting, the DTI recommended that the FIRB approves investment projects with a certain threshold and that PEZA will still approve and administer the incentives in its ecozones.