Signing of FIRB’s expanded functions set

Published April 19, 2021, 5:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The newly reconstituted Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) aims to complete the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law ahead of the deadline.

Following the first meeting of the FIRB board last April 14, the body set May 17, 2021 as the target date for signing the IRR on expanded functions of the board and the fresh menu of tax incentives available to investors and enterprises under this law. 

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the target date is around two months ahead of the 90-day deadline set under the law.

Under CREATE, the secretaries of the Department of Finance (DOF) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are given 90-days from the effectivity of the law, or by July 11, to promulgate the IRR of Title XIII. 

Finance Assistant Secretary Juvy Danofrata, who was designated to head the FIRB Secretariat, said the board is targeting to submit the IRR of Title XIII for final review by the DOF and DTI by May 10. 

Aside from the IRR deadline, the FIRB also discussed the proposed set of industries that would qualify to get generous tax breaks in the upcoming Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP).

But while the new SIPP has yet to be completed, the FIRB agreed that the current 2020 Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) will be adopted as the transitional list of priority sectors to be promoted for investments and qualified for tax incentives.

The 2020 IPP includes all qualified activities relating to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; investment activities determined by the Board of Investments; and programs to generate employment opportunities outside of congested urban areas.;  

The IPP list also listed manufacturing activities including agro-processing; agriculture, fishery, and forestry; and strategic services, including integrated circuit design, creative industries, and maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft. 

This IPP also includes healthcare and disaster risk reduction management services; mass housing; infrastructure and logistics; innovation drivers; inclusive business models; environment or climate change-related projects; energy; and export activities.