The chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to complete the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan (SIPP) mandated under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act before March 2022, the first anniversary of the measure.
During the committee meeting, Albay Representative Joey Salceda said that as a result of not having the SIPP finished, industries are still unsure about the tax incentives they will receive in the country.
The SIPP is the list of industries that are eligible for tax incentives under the CREATE Act.
“This has gone on for longer than it should have. Invoking this committee’s oversight power over Title XIII of the tax code, I strongly urge DTI to get it done as soon as possible, and definitely before CREATE turns one,” Salceda said.
He said the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) is unable to determine the tiering of the incentives because the Investment Priorities Plan, which was carried over as a transitional SIPP, does not provide for tiering.
Salceda also recalled that the DTI submitted an initial list of industry tiers for the consideration of the House of Representatives during the bicameral proceedings for CREATE, but the list was not hardcoded in the final text of the reform.
“That is why I insisted on that listing. It ends uncertainty and gives investors a sense of what they are bound to get under our laws. FDIs (foreign direct investments) are growing year on year, but we’re not maximizing our potential for investments because investors still have no idea if they qualify for better incentives under our law,” he said.
Salceda said the panel of experts that the DTI is consulting with over the SIPP drafting process should finish faster.
“There’s a time for consultation and there is a time for decisions. This crisis is a time for decisions. Anyway, nothing is stopping us from revising the SIPP if the initial list needs improvements. Just change the air now by getting the SIPP done,” he said.
Salceda warned that he would be forced to call oversight hearings if the deadline to issue the SIPP is not met next year.