FIRB grants tax perks to Converge, 3 tower companies: finance dept

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2022 10:39 AM

MANILA - The Fiscal Incentive Review Board has granted tax incentives to Converge ICT Solutions Inc and 3 other tower companies in line with the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, the Department of Finance said Wednesday. 

Converge received tax incentives for the nationwide rollout of fiber optic network for high-speed broadband services with a total project cost of P150.6 billion, the DOF said in a statement. 

It has been granted 4 years of income tax holiday followed by 5 years of enhanced deductions and 11 years of duty exemption on importations of capital equipment, raw materials, spare parts or accessories from the date of registration, unless otherwise extended in the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP), the agency added.

“We expect Converge to deliver on its performance commitment of faster and cheaper Internet access in remote localities as this will not only address our pain points with regard to connectivity but also provide more employment opportunities to our people in rural areas,” said Finance Secretary and FIRB Chairman Carlos Dominguez III.

SIPP determines priority projects or industries that can be granted fiscal incentives under CREATE, the finance department said. 

Incentives recommended by the Bureau of Investments were also granted to tower companies SkyTowers Infra Inc, Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc and Transcent Towers Infrastructure Philippines Inc, the DOF said. 

The three telco-tower companies have a combined total project cost of P78.2 billion and were given the same incentive package as Converge but on the condition that all towers would be built in areas that lack services, the agency said. 
 
“The approval of these projects is urgent, given the current gap in the number of towers needed to service our population. We are optimistic that these approved applications will pave the way for our country to finally have improved connectivity and more quality service,” said FIRB Secretariat head and Finance Assistant Secretary Juvy Danofrata.

The government has been pushing for the common tower initiative to raise the number of telco towers in the country, which has the lowest tower-to-subscriber ratio in the region. 

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