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Pangilinan wants tax perks for Filipino manufacturers of COVID-19 supplies

/ 03:54 PM November 01, 2021
Pangilinan wants tax perks for Filipino manufacturers of COVID-19 supplies

FILE PHOTO: Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan during a virtual hearing of Finance Subcommittee B on the P1.097 billion proposed budget of PCA Thursday, October 14, 2021. The senator is pushing for the passage of a bill that would grant tax perks to local manufacturers of COVID-19 medical items in order to ensure adequate and reasonably priced supply in the country as well as to create jobs for Filipinos. (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan is pushing for the passage of a bill that would grant tax perks to local manufacturers of COVID-19 medical items in order to ensure adequate and reasonably priced supply in the country as well as to create jobs for Filipinos.

“Bukod sa ating mga frontliner, dapat protektahan din ang kapakanan ng mga backliner na gumagawa ng mga kailangang-kailangang COVID-19 supplies,” Pangilinan said in a statement Monday.

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(As much as we are protecting the welfare of our frontliners, we must not forget our backliners who make critical COVID-19 supplies available.)

“Dapat nga sinusuyo pa sila ng pamahalaan para tuloy-tuloy lang ang paggawa. Pag tumatakbo ang mga pagawaan, may trabaho ang mga Pilipino,” he added.

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(Government should encourage them to stay the course. If factories are operating, Filipinos have jobs.)

Pangilinan earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1759 or the proposed Pandemic Protection Act, which seeks to give incentives to local manufacturers and producers of critical pandemic-related products such as personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, test kits, ventilators, face shields, face masks, among others.

Under the bill, importation of capital equipment, spares and accessories, raw materials, and other needed articles is exempt from customs duties, value-added tax (VAT), other taxes and fees such as import processing fees, and other fees imposed by the Bureau of Customs, Food and Drug Administration and other relevant agencies.

The proposed measure aims to likewise exempt from VAT local sales of critical products and services.

If passed into law, the bill also requires businesses that produce and export critical products or services to supply up to 80 percent of their daily production to government institutions, hospitals, and private establishments for local and domestic use.

Pangilinan’s bill, together with other similar bills from other senators as well those filed in the House of Representatives, is still pending.

In pushing for the measure, Pangilinan noted that the country was forced to import products when the pandemic broke out early in 2020 amid the lack of local manufacturers producing critical medical supplies.

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“Napilitan tayong mag-import at magbabyad nang mas malaki para sa mga COVID supplies. At malaki ang kinakain nito sa budget natin, sa pera ng bayan,” he said.

(We were forced to import and pay more for the COVID-19 supplies, and this hurt our budget, the people’s money.)

READ: Pangilinan: Local firm produced more face masks in 2020 but gov’t tapped Pharmally

Responding to the needs of the times, Filipino manufacturers “bonded together and repurposed” their operations to be able to produce the items, he added.

READ: Imported medical wear cost 3,500 local jobs – PH manufacturers

However, these manufacturers decried competition with imported medical products.

READ: ‘Nalugi kami:’ Senators lament local mask maker was ‘cheated’ amid contracts for ’favored’ firm

During the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing last Thursday, the Coalition of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE and the Confederation of Wearables Exporters of the Philippines also pushed for the passage of the Pandemic Protection Act.

“Tumugon sa tawag ng panahon ang mga local manufacturers natin at gumawa ng mga kailangan para protektahan ang sarili natin laban sa COVID-19. Dapat lokal na at hindi imported ang bilhin. Mas high quality na, tama pa ang presyo,” Pangilinan said.

(Our local manufacturers have heeded the call of the times and produced what we needed to protect ourselves against COVID-19. The government must begin to shun imported supplies and buy local. We will get the same if not better quality and at the correct price.)

KGA

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TAGS: COVID-19, Filipino manufacturers, Kiko Pangilinan, Legislation, Pandemic Protection Act, pandemic supplies, Senate Bill No. 1759, Tax
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