The Department of Finance (DOF) urged local chief executives to rally behind its proposed legislative measures to help the country recover from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.
During the webinar hosted by the Bureau of Local Government Finance, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III appealed to the local government units (LGUs) to signify their support behind the three pending bills backed by the DOF.
These are the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, and the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Act.
Dominguez explained that CREATE, FIST and GUIDE bills need to be passed into laws within this year to help ride out the economic downturn and rebuild the pandemic-battered economy.
Once passed into laws, finance chief said these priority legislative measures will also businesses recover from the pandemic by lowering the corporate income tax rate and enhancing the flexibility of the fiscal incentives system.
They will also allow banks to dispose of non-performing loans and assets through asset management companies so that they can lend more to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), he added.
Likewise, Dominguez said the pending bills will enable government banks, such as Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, to form a special holding company to support strategically important companies facing solvency issues.
“I thank the LGUs that have already expressed their support for these urgent measures,” Dominguez said.
Meanwhile, he also encouraged the LGUs to manifest to Congress their appeal for a timely enactment of the 2021 national budget.
“Be assured that the national government will continue to work with local governments to keep their constituents healthy and their local economies functioning and growing,” Dominguez said.
Lastly, Dominguez asked LGUs to adopt digital technologies, which will also translate into a more responsive governance and the efficient delivery of frontline services.
“The LGUs are vital in the difficult task of rebuilding our economy. Closer to the ground, they are best positioned to help revive our enterprises hardest hit by the pandemic. They can help pump prime the national economy through local public investments,” Dominguez said.