'Performance-based, time-bound' tax breaks to stay, says trade chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 01 2019 11:19 AM

Makati City's skyscrapers are seen in this file photo. Corporate tax incentives will continue on a "performance-based and time-bound basis," Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday, as the government pushed for the second tranche of tax reforms. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Corporate tax incentives will continue on a "performance-based and time-bound basis," Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday, as the government pushed for the second tranche of tax reforms.

The proposed reduction in the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 30 percent will be a "big come-on" for potential investors, Lopez said.

The government is also building new infrastructure, on top of fresh reforms like the Ease of Doing Business Law, the trade chief said in a business forum ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte's fourth State of the Nation Address.

Tax incentives are "not the primary reason" for investments, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said, citing a recent conversation with business leaders.

He said some businessmen rejected his offer for tax exemptions for BPO and incentives for every job created, as long as the facility is set up in war-torn Marawi City.

Investors gravitate to areas that are secure and where there's enough infrastructure, he said.

"We are creating an environment which is safe. We are investing heavily in education. We are giving free college education... We are investing in our 'Build, Build, Build.' We are not eliminating tax incentives for the industries that we want," he said.