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Gov’t refines rules on grant of incentives

Posted on April 29, 2013 10:17:26 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ] 
ENTERPRISES operating in economic zones and freeports seeking to get incentives under the Republic Act 9400, which amended the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 (BCDA Law), must cancel their registrations under other preferential regimes, according to the Finance department.
Department Order (DO) 18-2013, dated April 16 and published in a newspaper yesterday, clarified RA 9400’s implementing rule on the grant of incentives.
Section 12 of the implementing guidelines, issued formally as DO 3-2008 by the Finance department, stipulated that economic zone and freeport enterprises already availing of incentives provided for under RA 9400 shall be disqualified from availing of other incentives and benefits defined or granted under other laws or regulations.
DO 18-2013 amended the section to include this sentence: “Qualified enterprises already enjoying incentives under other preferential regimes should have their registrations thereunder cancelled before they may subsequently avail of the benefits provided under RA 9400.”
RA 9400, signed in April 2007, provides fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to firms in economic zones and freeports managed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, such as Subic Special Economic Zone, the Clark Special Economic Zone, and the Clark Freeport Zone, among others.
The perks include a special tax rate of 5% on gross income earned in lieu of national and local taxes and the tax- and duty-free importation of raw materials and capital equipment. Income tax holidays are excluded.
Several incentive-granting agencies aside from the BCDA, however, provide other fiscal and non-fiscal perks other than those granted or defined under the BCDA Law, such as tax credits and exemption from wharfage dues and export taxes and other fees.
RA 9400 stated that firms registered under and granted other incentives by other agencies shall be entitled to the incentives only until the expiration of their contracts that were entered into prior to the effectivity of the law. -- Bettina Faye V. Roc
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