Government plans to create ecozones for local firms

Published by rudy Date posted on February 28, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to spur investments in less developed regions in the country, the national government is looking at creating an ecozones for local enterprises that will exempt locators from paying business tax.

In an interview with reporters, Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Cristino L. Panlilio said that his idea is to create domestic ecozones that will exempt firms from paying local business taxes for products that will be sold in that region.

“This would be an extra incentive for the company to stay in that area because you are giving an advantage to the products,” Panlilio said. “By being there they are helping the region because they are providing jobs.”

Aside from the exemptions, Panlilio said that locators may also be given discounts in business permits and licenses.

However, Panlilio cleared that all these are only ideas because legislation is needed before any of this is implemented. He likewise said that the domestic ecozone may be the answer to the problem of investors with some local government units (LGUs).

Earlier, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said the government is looking at creating a domestic ecozone similar to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in a bid to protect domestic enterprises.

Domingo also proposed the creation of a Magna Carta for Investors to protect businessmen who are infusing money in the country from sudden changes in the policy.

According to Domingo, the domestic ecozone and the Magna Carta for Investors are proposals that may be included in the priority list of Congress next year.

Domingo clarified that the incentives in PEZA zones will be more than the incentives in the domestic ecozone because exporters need more incentive to stay in the country. He explained that exporters can easily transfer their investment here to other countries if the cost of doing business in the Philippines becomes too high.

Domingo said that they are looking at Leyte or Samar as possible pilot locations for the domestic ecozone. He said the area must have ready access airports and seaports. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star)

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