Provincial Board mulls investment code for tax holiday, MSME integration

Jul 20, 2018 ...

The Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) is considering a tax holiday on real property tax for companies or businesses looking to invest in the province, Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc said yesterday.

He shared that the Board has been reviewing the provincial investment code, particularly the possibility of a tax holiday "just to incentivize yung mga big business to come in and set up shop sa atin – so long as we know that hindi nila maaapekto ang local industries, or yung smaller businesses.

"Ayaw nating i-take yung market nila," he said of agriculture, small manufacturers, and handicrafts. "With these big businesses, we want them to come in, pero we want yung tamang negosyo – hindi kahit sino lang."

They would lean towards companies bringing to Ilocos Norte a high number of quality local jobs.

In addition, the Board intends to further integrate micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs) into the investment code.

Manotoc mentioned a law on a percentage of bank loans going to MSMEs, "So gusto ko lang mag-inquire kung ini-implement ba 'yan? Pina-practice ba ng mga bangko natin? I'd like to check whether our lending institutions here in Ilocos are observing that."

As chair of the SP Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Industry, he acknowledges that startup capital is among the biggest hurdles of small business owners.

He is hopeful that with more facilitation for MSMEs' financing, plenty doors of opportunity will be opened.

"Kailangan ding may support ng private sector, kasi siyempre, limited din yung budget natin sa gobyerno," Manotoc added.

by Mizpah Grace Castro

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