Bacolod ICT leader welcomes stay of tax perks

BACOLOD City – A leader of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector here welcomed the retention of tax incentives of business process outsourcing (BPO) based on the statements of the Department of Finance (DOF).

Lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, executive director of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), expressed optimism on the pronouncements of various departments of government, particularly the DOF, that the tax incentives for ICT-enabled industries, including BPO firms, will be retained.

Batapa-Sigue had noted that Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and other national officials recognized ICT as one of the biggest contributors to job generation and revenues.

“The continuation of tax incentives will also continue to encourage the growth of IT companies especially in the countryside,” she said.

Batapa-Sigue, a trustee and head of the public sector and policy committee of National Information and Communications Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), said it will enable the industry to generate jobs and investments especially in the countryside, sustain growth which accounts for the increase in gross domestic product), and achieve the government’s target to ensure inclusive socio-economic growth.

For his part, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, said the tax incentives currently enjoyed by BPO companies will remain despite the proposed comprehensive tax reform program.

The DOF, during Wednesday’s public hearing on the proposed tax reform, clarified that foreign services of BPO companies in special economic zones will remain exempted from value-added tax (VAT) while those outside special economic zones, including those registered under the Board of Investments, will retain their zero-rated VAT status. (EPN/PNA)

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