MANILA – Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Benedicto Yujuico has called on Congress to pass the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill before sessions go on recess next week.
In a virtual forum of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines on Thursday, Yujuico, along with representatives of other business groups, urged lawmakers to immediately enact the bill into law, which is expected to help stimulate economic activities under the “new normal” due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
“We cannot afford to wait until the next session to have this Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act pass. I sincerely believe that delaying the passage of this bill will not only delay the recovery of our economy but will also prolong the hardship of our people,” he said.
Businesses and investors are looking forward to reducing the corporate income tax (CIT) rate once the CREATE bill becomes a law.
Under the bill, the CIT will be reduced to 25 percent immediately from the current 30 percent.
Some 31 associations of businesses and professions issued a joint statement in support of the immediate passage of the CREATE bill during the forum.
“We humbly request the Senate and the House of Representatives to move quickly and decisively push CREATE forward and ensure its passage urgently, ideally before Congress adjourns on June 3. Any further delay comes at the risk of losing more jobs and hemorrhaging more investments,” their joint statement read.
In the same forum, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) president Nabil Francis applauded this move of the government to cut the CIT rate but wished to further reduce the taxes for enterprises to 20 percent before 2025.
“The competition is fierce. We are taking unprecedented competition, with our neighbors doing also the same thing,” Francis said.
Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a Viber message that the Department of Trade and Industry fully supports the CREATE bill, adding that this is better than the status quo and the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act (CITIRA).
“It is what is needed by the country now as our businesses wrestle with the disruption in supply chains and markets brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Lopez said.
The enactment of the CREATE bill into law, he said, would also address uncertainties among potential investors on the fiscal incentives regime of the government. (PNA)