Rep. Romualdez wants tax holiday for firms helping disaster victims
MANILA, Philippines – Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez on Monday asked his fellow lawmakers to pass a bill that would provide a better tax incentive for private companies that provided aid to calamity-stricken areas.
“I ask my fellow lawmakers to propose a bill that would give added tax incentives for private companies who have helped those in need,” Romualdez said in his privilege speech Monday evening at the resumption of the session of the 16th Congress.
He said the tax holiday bill comes with an invitation for all entrepreneurs and companies to establish their businesses in these calamity-stricken areas.
“While they may be starting from scratch, we assure them of utmost cooperation to provide a business-friendly climate,” he added.
He also proposed the creation of a Typhoon Yolanda Development Integration Assistance Program that would ensure the continued education of children from areas affected by Yolanda. He further appealed to the national government and to local leaders to help displaced residents find alternative homes and some form of livelihood so that they could get back on their feet.
Romualdez, whose district– including Tacloban—was devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda,” deplored the “bureaucratic red tape” that stalled the delivery of relief supplies to survivors.
To remedy this, he called for the creation of a new department or an Emergency Management Authority to be headed by a Cabinet Secretary and which would oversee all calamity-related operations.
“The current set-up has proven to be inadequate in preparing our country from major calamities which we will inevitably have to face. This department will drastically reduce, if not totally eliminate, the bureaucratic red tape which caused the delay of the delivery of relief goods to the victims and clearing operations to the affected areas,” Romualdez said in his speech.
Romualdez also thanked President Benigno Aquino III and Speaker Sonny Belmonte after the two went to Tacloban to assess the damage and take the lead in the restoration efforts in the area.
“I would like to thank our president who has stayed there for two days to help in the assistance in the efforts,” Romualdez said.
Romualdez also extended his plea to fellow legislators for additional support in the relief efforts of Tacloban to hasten the restoration process. With a report from Leila Salaverria, Philippine Daily Inquirer
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