By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter
THE Marcos administration needs a long-term plan to achieve food security and make doing business easier, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.
These agenda items were contained in a wish list the PCCI was set to submit to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. The wish list was released on Thursday, the second day of the 49th Philippine Business Conference & Expo (PBC&E).
The resolutions also address power, the environment and climate change, human resources development, industry and trade, infrastructure, digitalization, taxation and tourism.
The PCCI said food security will require infrastructure support, technology transfer, product diversification, an export expansion, economies of scale, and improving the value chains.
It said that the Agrarian Reform Law should be amended to increase the land retention limit from five to 24 hectares to encourage scale in farm production.
It added that the government should implement the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, Agri-Agra Reform Act of 2009, the National Livestock Program, the Digital Agricultural Land Mapping Program and the Coconut Industry Development Plan.
In terms of government export, the PCCI said the Departments of Agriculture and Trade should continue to negotiate free trade agreements to obtain zero tariffs for more agricultural exports and to form a committee overseeing the improvement of the export performance of farm goods.
The PCCI also urged the President to change the tax rules to make it easier for registered business enterprises (RBEs) to access incentives and tax refunds.
“(We are) urging the National Government to provide a stable and predictable business environment by ensuring clear, consistent, and transparent regulations, streamlining and simplifying bureaucratic processes, reducing unnecessary red tape, and eliminating barriers that hinder business growth and development,” it said.
It said value-added tax (VAT) zero-rating and the application of the cross-border doctrine to economic zones will help the Philippines “remain competitive in attracting capital and foreign direct investment that are urgently needed to finance large-scale government projects, create more and better jobs, and boost economic growth.”
It said that the Departments of Finance and Trade, alongside the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should immediately review the implementing rules and regulations of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.
It said amendments to Revenue Regulations 21-2021 and Revenue Memorandum Circular 24-2022 are in line with the original intent of the CREATE Act and will result in the retention of tax incentives for existing registered export enterprises.
“The BIR (should) consider that the CREATE Act does not limit the VAT zero-rating to RBEs to the exclusion of other types of PEZA-registered enterprises,” it added.
The PCCI also urged the government to make use of modern technology and renewable energy to make power adequate and affordable.
It said that the BIR, the Department of Energy (DoE), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) should be consistent in the application of zero-VAT rating on the sale of generated power through all stages of sale in the supply chain for power.
“The DoE (must) ensure the transmission plans declared over the years to connect all three Philippine island groups to one National Grid be finally delivered and fully electrified and that new plans for capacity expansion and RE technologies be accommodated,” it added.