By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Finance (DOF) have agreed to grant tax incentives to manufacturers and importers of essential products during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
The two agencies have pushed for greater support in the by granting incentives through Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 20-02, series of 2020 issued on 1 April 2020.
The tax incentives are provided under Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” which authorized the DTI and DOF to liberalize the grant of incentives for the manufacture and importation of critical equipment or supplies.
In order to achieve this, the two agencies shall ensure the availability of essential goods and require businesses to prioritize contracts, subject to fair and reasonable terms, for materials and services needed by the government in its campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The importation of these goods shall be exempt from import duties, taxes, and other fees.
“We need to ensure that the disruptions in the supply chain are minimized, as well as give enterprises a reprieve from commonly imposed taxes,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“We will help our manufacturers, especially those partnering with medical institutions and hospitals, procure or produce these essential goods at reduced costs by providing them with tax breaks during this global health crisis,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
For his part, Dominguez added, “This is the least the Duterte administration could do to help our healthcare front-liners win the battle against COVID-19 by ensuring their access to personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other necessities to protect themselves and to medicines and medical supplies to treat their patients.”
The Trade Secretary also mentioned that this was the government’s way of showing gratitude for the cooperation of enterprises despite the restricted movement and conditions imposed during the quarantine period.
The JMC covers the production and manufacture of medicines identified critical by the Department of Health (DOH), medical equipment and devices, personal protective equipment, surgical equipment and supplies, as well as laboratory equipment and its reagents.
The JMC likewise covers raw materials and packaging materials exclusively used for the production of the above-mentioned products.
Among the provisions of the RA 11469 is for the government to collaborate with the private sector and other stakeholders to deliver these measures and programs quickly and efficiently.
Dominguez further assured that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be able to assist in the timely release of the imports of raw materials, packaging, and articles required in the supply chain of production.
“We urge our partners in the private sector for their continued understanding on the importance of the unimpeded production and importation of these essential products,” said Lopez.
Meanwhile, Dominguez said, “We thank these manufacturers, institutions, and hospitals that continue to innovate and produce essential goods to help save Filipino lives in the face of the pandemic.”
With the continued cooperation of the private sector and other involved agencies, DTI and DOF remain optimistic in minimizing the spread of the virus and its long-term impact on the local economy.