Written by John Carlo Tria

The buy local movement has gained much traction in many areas over the last few weeks thanks to social media empowering consumers to share their local buy preferences and encouraging others to do the same. Buying local helps many local businesses recover.

In Mindanao, the fruit season heralded by the Kadayawan festival in Davao and the Higalaay festival in Cagayan de Oro create encouragement for local consumption of these farm products.

Please continue buying local.

Create

What is urgently needed, in my view is action from Congress on bills that I believe can strengthen business and financial institutions in the medium and long term to help sustain our long recovery effort. Many businesses will need all the help they can get to recover and support jobs.

In particular, the CREATE bill I wrote about earlier is supported by various business organizations and the President. CREATE not only lowers our corporate tax rates, but makes them more at par with our ASEAN neighbors.

For businesses like ours, the benefit worth understanding is the extended Net Operating Loss Carryover (NOLCO) system that will allow companies to deduct current losses from future income from 2021 to 2025.

NOLCO will enable businesses like mine to program our long-term recovery, as the disruptions such as we are experiencing. In our case, the Mindanao earthquakes, the Taal eruption, and now the pandemic brought complex problems for many businesses.

In the case of areas outside our major industrial centers, an expanded Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) can pass incentives for more job generating and innovative manufacturing to take root in the countryside.

This creates a more inclusive and resilient economy in the medium and long term by distributing these job-generating investments to areas outside the traditional industrial centers. With the way infections seem to concentrate in our industrial centers, it makes sense to distribute these industries to also decongest them.

It’s about time that CREATE is passed in Congress.

Kudos to ARTA and PCCI

Good news. The Anti-Red Tape Authority has given the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) the power to receive and report complaints. ARTA pushes the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Law of 2018, which imposes a fixed number of days within which permit and similar applications with government are granted or acted upon.

This will greatly help many businesses especially in the provinces that need prompt service on permits and other matters as they explore and navigate the new normal.

Cover image by Ian Panelo from Pexels

Article first appeared in the Manila Bulletin website last August 31, 2020.