MANILA - The Philippines' largest business organization on Monday called on Congress to pass a bill seeking to lower corporate taxes and rationalize fiscal incentives.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said lawmakers should "focus on the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE)," which the group said was a key economic recovery measure.
“Congress is in a good position to do this as CREATE is in the last step before being enacted into a legislation”, said PCCI President Amb. Benedicto Yujuico.
The proposed measure will lower the corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 20 percent for firms earning P5 million and below. Other companies, including foreign firms with higher earnings, will pay 25 percent.
At 30 percent, the Philippines' current CIT is the highest in Southeast Asia.
PCCI noted that government economic managers and various business groups have said that CREATE will restore market confidence and help businesses affected by the pandemic.
The passage of CREATE will remove the uncertainty on the country’s tax incentives regime, which has been a deterrent to foreign businesses looking for potential investment destinations, PCCI said.
“CREATE will provide the momentum for the country to attract foreign direct investments,” Yujuico said.
The Department of Finance said both the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Philippine Dealing System also supported the passage of CREATE.
Last week, PCCI called on lawmakers to pass CREATE and several other economic measures instead of focusing on Charter change.
The statement of support was signed by PSE president Jose Pardo; PDS chairman Cezar Consing; and Ramon Monzon, the president-CEO of both the PSE and PDS.