Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Angara filed a bill sought to harmonize Phl incentives
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 24, 2011-In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, Senator Edgardo J. Angara has filed Senate bill number 2755 otherwise known as “The Investments and Incentives Code of the Philippines” that aims to rationalize fiscal incentives awarded to enterprises, stressing the need to put our fiscal house in order.
Angara said that the bill will harmonize the country's existing incentive system which is presently provided under different laws with differing provisions, saying that the disparate incentive offerings has regrettably created competition among various economic zones vying for limited investments that flow into the country. The Philippines' foreign direct investment in 2009 totaled $1.948 billion, which is far lower than what our neighbors in the region receive.
“Unequal incentive regimes have fostered unnecessary rivalry among our own ecozones, when they should be working together to build up our total investment portfolio,” Angara said, adding that the incentives we give investors must be clearly defined and comparable across the board, otherwise we risk putting off potential investors instead of attracting them.
“There is a need to ensure that our incentives remain competitive with those of our Asian neighbors,” Angara said, explaining that the bill will help spur development in the countryside and other underdeveloped areas by granting tax incentives to investors who would locate in our poorest provinces.
The said bill will promote export-oriented enterprises, whether these are located inside or outside economic zones and will ensure that progress will be as equitable as possible.
Angara added that the bill will reform institutions primarily the Board of Investments that grant incentives by clarifying their mandates and enhancing their capacity to monitor and to implement the incentive system, saying that this is the right time to pass this urgent fiscal reform measure.
“The Congress has been considering this bill for so long and I am hoping that my colleague in the Senate would support this bill for its immediate passage,” Angara said. (Jason de Asis)
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