Business groups hail economic promises of Marcos, online VAT

PRESIDENT FERDINAND R. MARCOS JR. delivered his first state of the nation address during the joint session of the 19th Congress at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City on July 25. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Journalist

LOCAL BUSINESS GROUPS hailed President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s economic stimulus plans, as well as proposed legislation that includes imposing a value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions.

“We welcome his proposal to tax online transactions which will put online merchants on an equal footing with in-store retailers when it comes to tax burdens. Great opportunity for a new source of government revenue and will level the playing field with traditional retailers,” said Roberto S. Claudio, Vice President of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA). Business world by mobile messaging.

In his first State of the Nation address, Marcos pushed for a VAT on digital services, which he said would initially generate 11.7 billion pesos in revenue if implemented in 2023.

The executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Chris Nelson, said in a mobile phone interview that they were “very pleased” with Mr Marcos’ plans, adding that it was a “good start”.

He said they welcomed Mr Marcos’ statement that there would be no more lockdowns to curb coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections.

“I think it’s very good to hear that there will be no more lockdowns. It’s clear that these closures have had a significant impact on the economy. It’s good to hear that,” said said Mr. Nelson.

Jose Maria A. Concepcion III, founder of Go Negosyo and member of Mr. Marcos’ Private Sector Advisory Council, said in a Viber message that the private sector will be able to recover from the pandemic if there are no more lockdowns , which disrupted business activity.

“We are grateful to President Marcos for his assurance that there will be no more lockdowns imposed in the country. This is what the private sector and MSMEs need, as it will enable full recovery from the pandemic,” Mr. Concepcion said.

The government’s implementation of a strict and prolonged lockdown to curb COVID-19 infections has been blamed for the Philippine economy’s record 9.6% contraction in 2020.

Makati Business Club (MBC) executive director Francisco “Coco” Alcuaz, Jr. said in a Viber message that Mr. Marcos’ plans for the agricultural sector are welcome and long overdue.

“Increased loans, affordable inputs and research and development will help end the plight of our disadvantaged farmers and fishers,” Mr. Alcuaz said.

Meanwhile, Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) President Jose C. Clemente III expressed support for Mr. Marcos’ plan to build additional international airports.

“We support this statement and we hope that with the plan to create and modernize airports, more efforts and resources can be deployed to encourage more international carriers to fly while creating more favorable conditions for carriers of our country are mounting more flights,” Mr Clemente said in a text message.

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