Press Release
October 1, 2020

Bong Go expresses support for CREATE bill; says incentives for businesses investing in the countryside will lead to faster regional development

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has expressed his support for the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill, reiterating that the proposed tax reform measure also aims to achieve faster and equitable regional development and provide economic opportunities in the provinces by encouraging businesses to invest in the countryside.

The proposed CREATE bill, sponsored by Senator Pia Cayetano, seeks to rationalize the country's fiscal incentives system by encouraging businesses to invest in the Philippines while the country gets the most value out of the incentives granted.

The measure does this by ensuring that the incentives given to investors are performance-based, time-bound, targeted, and transparent.

During the Senate regular session on Monday, September 28, Go asked Cayetano about how the measure will benefit the economy.

"What are the benefits of prioritizing the passage of CREATE as early as September? How does this benefit the economy and existing businesses?" Go asked.

Cayetano responded, saying that President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent to "immediately reduce corporate income tax from 30% to 25%." She added that this needs to be passed immediately so that businesses could benefit from it by next year.

Go then asked how the measure will benefit the government's objectives in its implementation of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.

"One of my advocacies is the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program. This seeks to provide job opportunities in the countryside, and address traffic congestion and pollution in Metro Manila. How can CREATE complement this program?" Go asked.

Cayetano responded saying, "I would like to emphasize that I really pushed for the provisions that would generally identify the areas and give incentives to provinces to the areas outside the metropolitan areas."

She added that the Strategic Investment Priority Plan will also specify areas outside Metro Manila that will be prioritized for the measure.

Go then remarked that the grant of tax incentives should target the provinces so that investors can invest outside of Metro Manila and more economic opportunities will be made available for Filipinos living in or moving to the countryside.

"Sa tuwing bumibisita po ako sa mga nabiktima ng sunog ay tinatanong ko sila kung gusto nilang bumalik sa probinsya, marami pong nagtataas ng kamay ngunit nagdadalawang-isip po sila dahil hindi sila sigurado kung may makukuha ba silang trabaho doon sa probinsya," Go said.

"Kailangang i-encourage ang investors to put up businesses sa mga probinsya para magkaroon ng maraming trabaho, maraming negosyo, plantasyon, factory at iba pang pwedeng kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino sa probinsya," he added.

Finally, Go asked how CREATE will give job security to workers in industries affected by the pandemic, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises.

Cayetano said that the reduction of corporate income tax will greatly benefit small businesses. "99% of businesses are MSMEs which I mentioned and they employ around 65% of our workers. So kapag tinulungan natin ang MSMEs, then 65% of our workforce natutulungan din," she said.

Ending his interpellation, Go urged his fellow senators to support the measure as he commended the good sponsor for pushing this important measure. He further urged his colleagues to support its immediate passage.

"Malaking tulong po ito sa ating bayanihan efforts para mabigyan ang mga Pilipino ng bagong pag-asa na may mas magandang kinabukasan silang hinaharap pagkatapos nitong krisis," Go said.

Suportado ko ito bilang pagmamalasakit sa mga kababayan nating nais na manirahan at magsimula muli ng panibagong buhay sa kanilang mga probinsya. Tulungan natin silang maibalik ang sigla ng kanilang kabuhayan kahit asan man silang parte ng bansa," he added.

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