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PEZA seeks to relax rules for tourism investments

[ ] August 2, 2010
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is proposing to relax some of the requirements for tourism facilities to enjoy incentives to encourage more investments in the sector, director-general Lilia B. de Lima said.
De Lima said this is in line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) thrust of prioritizing tourism for its potential to create jobs and spawn other industries.
De Lima said she proposed to the PEZA board to allow tourism facilities – be they tourism economic zones, hotels, convention centers and the like – to register with the agency even if they are mainly geared for domestic clients in their initial years of operation.
In manufacturing, PEZA-registered firms are required to comply with 70-30 ruling, meaning 70 percent of production for export and 30 percent for domestic. "If you take it by analogy, tourism companies need to have 70 percent of clientele as foreigners," De Lima said.
De Lima said by lowering the threshold to 40 percent, say in the first two years of operations, would allow the company to bring in more clients and grow from there.
"It takes time to build foreign clientele," she said, adding that this is especially true for facilities in Visayas and Mindanao.
"The requirement is that facilities should be internationally-oriented. But the playing field is not even if we impose stringent requirements for investments in these facilities," she said.

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