Arroyo offers to make House trade-friendly

House presenter Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stressed that priority should be given to the development of infrastructure and the ease of doing business. These are crucial factors for investors, as seen in the industrial city in San Simon, Pampanga.

Arroyo made the statement after a dialogue with locators in the Bataan Freeport Zone Freeport Zone Friday, even when she insisted on measures that promote the rationalization of tax benefits.

"I asked the investors, why did you come here, none of them get tax incentives, they came here because of the infrastructure," said Arroyo.

Allaying fears that the proposed tax reform law might deter investors, Arroyo said infrastructure and ease of doing business were the most important factors for business ventures.

Although incentives can attract investors, they focus only on so-called footloose companies and that infrastructure and the ease of doing business are the factors that attract investors to a certain country, Arroyo said.

The forum expressed concern that the proposed reform of the Tax Code to attract better and better quality trade opportunities (TRABAHO) eliminates investors because some of the incentives given to existing companies, especially those that are active in free ports and economic zones.

The TRABAHO invoice, included in House Bill 8083, is the second package of the Duterte administration's tax review package.

Arroyo mentioned that locators were happy to know during the FAB dialogue that they did not lose their export-related incentives because the government recognized that some locators are footloose and should therefore keep these incentives.

For most companies, however, it is necessary to implement more efficient and reasonable policies to enable the government to raise more money for better services and infrastructure, so that people can grow and companies can flourish in the country.

In the first place, she pointed out that most companies do not come to the country for the incentives but for the infrastructure and ease of doing business, just like what happens in San Simon in Pampanga.

She pointed out that investors in San Simon's industrial park did not place their companies for tax incentives, but because of the good infrastructure and support from the local government.

"The government realizes that there are companies that need tax incentives and there are industries that do not really invest because of incentives but because of the infrastructure and ease of doing business," Arroyo said.

About 15 of the largest FAB locators together with Bataan Gov. Albert Raymond Garcia, Mariveles mayor Ace Jello Concepcion and authority of the Freeport of Bataan Chairman and administrator Engeneer Emmanuel Pineda attended the meeting with Arroyo and her group at: Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua from Quirino and Jose Enrique Garcia III from Bataan.

Cua, who chaired the house manners and committee when the TRABAHO law was approved at committee level, said no less than Arroyo showed Congress listening to the locators.

"We are also trying to pass on the message, together with the DoF, so that we can find a good balance in drawing up a policy that delivers more jobs for our people," Cua said.

Cua said that although the bill reached the plenary session, there were still opportunities for improving the measure, the most obvious of which is the period of change.

There is also the senate where the entire process for discussion and improvement of the bill is still open.

Then the third opportunity is the two-room committee.

During the dialogue, one of the topics discussed was "providing tax incentives that are based on performance, transparent and time-bound."

Cua said the government focused on industries that needed incentives and created jobs.

Cua said the FAB locators themselves acknowledged that the main reason to invest in the country was the talented workforce.

"The best reason to invest in the country is not in the bill, but it's the people, according to the locators," he said.

Meanwhile Garcia said that the businessmen were happy that Arroyo and her group went there to discuss HB 8083 with them.

"We took this opportunity to clarify some of the bill's provisions, and we took this opportunity to let them know which aspects of their business will be affected," Garcia said.

Garcia said that some of the issues discussed with the locators were the speed and length of incentives, the VAT and how it would be reimbursed, among others.

He said that they have explained to the locators the meaning of time-bound.

Garcia said that the proposed amendments to the bill could be made in plenary and in committee.

He said he would suggest the House to maintain the autonomy of the FAB because of its good performance.

"There has to be a performance-oriented implementation of the invoice, which means that if the FAB makes investments, gets jobs, picks up locators and pays the taxes well, let it still be autonomous as it is now – it has its own charter. think that's why the FAB is successful, "said Garcia.

For its part, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua, also present at the forum, said that the Ministry of Finance would be open to the submitted proposals.

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