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House CREATE bicam delegation seeking more tax incentives for rural investment

THE HOUSE contingent to the bicameral conference committee harmonizing the two chambers’ Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bills are pushing for expanded incentives to be awarded to investments made outside the capital region.

Albay Representative Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda said Sunday that House members want “longer incentives for countryside investments” and a “premium” on rural and high-value investments.

“We just want a stronger bias towards countryside development and gross value added. I suppose the differences are because we in the House mostly represent the provinces, while most Senators come from big cities, so the perspective has some differences,” he said in a statement.

In the Senate version, businesses that locate in less-developed areas and areas outside Metro Manila will receive tax incentives for 15-17 years. The House version, meanwhile, wants tax incentives for countryside investments to run for 16-18 years.

Mr. Salceda said the changes introduced during the bicam should be “sensible” and acceptable to the two chambers of Congress.

Mr. Salceda said the bicameral conference will be conducted “fairly and quickly.” “We know time is of the essence. That is in fact why we approved our version three months after this Congress started, in 2019.”

He said he is trying his “best” to smooth out the concerns of the House contingent about the Senate’s version. “We have been working all week long, and I am confident our changes are well-argued and evidence-based, so the bicam should be quick. If it were all up to me, this would have passed last year.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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