Photo Release

November 25, 2020

Omnibus Objection: Sen. Richard Gordon, expressing exasperation over a number of layers in the bureaucracy, raises an omnibus objection over the additional power of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to include approval of tax incentives for entrepreneurs under Senate Bill No. 1357 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill. Gordon, during the hybrid plenary session Wednesday, November 25, 2020, said the FIRB is just another layer and had not done anything to invite more investments in the country, but on the contrary stunted the growth of the country’s economic zones. Sen. Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee and sponsor of the bill, said the objective of the FIRB is to ensure that investment promotion agencies (IPAs) continue to be focused on their targets, transparent and accountable. Cayetano also accepted an amendment that would further strengthen the IPAs. “This is a model being done, specifically in Malaysia and Singapore, and it helps rationalize the incentives that are being granted throughout the country,” Cayetano said. The FIRB is an existing interagency committee, chaired by the Department of Finance, which currently grants tax subsidies to government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs). (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)