MANILA – Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Benedicto Yujuico said the government should look into attracting companies that plan to exit from China by offering generous incentives to keep the economy afloat amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
During the virtual presser of Tapatan sa Aristocrat Monday, Yujuico said there are businesses particularly manufacturers that are leaving China because “they think that the supply chain there is not dependable” thus the Philippine government should maneuver its policies in attracting these firms.
“From China, they go to Thailand and Vietnam where they can get more incentives. But I have yet to hear companies coming to the Philippines because we are scrapping some of our incentives,” he added in Filipino.
Early this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earmarked JPY220 billion (USD2.2 billion) for Japanese companies to shift their production out of China, saying the pandemic “has clearly exposed grave vulnerabilities in the supply chain of Japanese companies”.
The Duterte administration is pushing for its Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), in which the second package or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) aims to rationalize tax perks mostly enjoyed by big companies.
“We can defer it and give priority to our industries to be more attractive and competitive. Then let’s talk about it later whether we have over-extended the incentives we give to foreigners that established businesses here,” Yujuico said.
In early March, the PCCI released a statement urging the Senate to immediately pass the CITIRA, saying small-scale businesses do not benefit from the current fiscal incentives of the government.
“While that might be true that they (big companies) are enjoying so much (incentives), now is not the time to take it out,” he said. “We have to refocus our priorities.” (PNA)