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Councilors approve changes in Investment Incentive Code

The city council approved on final reading the amendments to the Investment Incentive Code during its regular session on Tuesday.

The approval is necessary, the resolution states, as it aims to provide favorable and stable business climate consistent with the development needs of the city and will encourage new investments and will provide employment opportunities.

The amendments, according to the resolution, are enacted to “make it more responsive and dynamic, and to harmonize it with the National Government’s initiatives, laws, and regulations on investment related activities.”

Among the changes in the code is the composition of the Board where the chairpersons of the City Council’s committees on Agriculture, Tourism, and Environment and Natural Resources will be added.

It also added the provision on tax incentives to new projects as under Section 31, an enterprise registered under the code shall be granted an exemption from business tax for a maximum period of three years.

It provides exemption from basic real property tax of real properties used in the registered business excluding barangay share and Special Education Fund (SEF) for a maximum period of two years.

It also provides for tax credits for regulatory fees and permits paid for a maximum period of three years and tax deductions for certain costs incurred by the registered enterprise that have direct positive impact to the activities listed in the Priority Investment Areas (PIA).

In section Region 32, the Tax Incentives to Expansion Projects and Modernization projects is provided. Under the provision is the exemption from business tax increments for a maximum period of three years starting from January of the year succeeding the actual of Start of Commercial Operation (SCO) or the projected SCO of the expansion or modernization project.

It also provides or the exemption from basic real property tax of real properties used in the registered business, excluding barangay share and SEF for a maximum period of two years from the effectivity of the real property tax on the new tax declaration or assessment issued by the City Assessor’s Office.

Its Section 33 mentions the fiscal incentives to Projects located in Preferred Districts as provided for in the list of the PIA.

The section 34 also provides for additional fiscal incentives to registered enterprises employing Indigenous People and persons with disability. A registered enterprise shall be allowed deduction from its gross income for the wages paid to indigenous peoples and persons with disability.

Meanwhile, the section 35 provides incentives to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) doing activities under the PIA.
Another amendment provides incentives to land owners selling or entering into partnerships for the development of economic zones.

The amendments also provide that an exemption on incentives may be availed subject to certain circumstances like the registered enterprise has suffered operational force majeure that has impaired its viability; the registered enterprise has not fully enjoyed the incentives granted to it for reasons beyond its control; the project of the registered enterprise has a gestation period which goes beyond the period of availment of needed incentives; or the operation of the registered enterprise has been subjected to unforeseen changes in government policies which would affect its sustainability and profitability.

Another provision is on the sanctions for late submission of reportorial requirements with the first violation carrying a penalty of P500 per day until the requirement has been fully complied with; for second violation P1,000 per day until complied; and for third violation, cancellation and revocation of the certificate of registration.

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