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September 26, 2022

FIRB holds 15 town hall meetings for 2,400 firms, other stakeholders

The Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) Secretariat has successfully conducted 15 virtual town hall meetings attended by 2,400 participants combined, in an effort to brief and assist its stakeholders on tax incentives application.

Participants in the meetings comprised representatives from investment promotion agencies (IPAs), registered business enterprises (RBEs), micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and local government units (LGUs) who were apprised about incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

“The FIRB Secretariat has always been committed to assist the IPAs, their existing locators and investors, and our other stakeholders for them to fully avail of all the opportunities that CREATE has to offer,” Finance Assistant Secretary and FIRB Secretariat head Juvy Danofrata said.

The FIRB has committed to effectively address issues and concerns on FIRB processes and the list of superior incentives available under CREATE.

“We acknowledge that prior to the enactment of the CREATE Act, all IPAs have been dealing with their own locators, while investors and other entities have also been grappling to understand how to apply for tax incentives for their registered projects,” she added.

In the recently conducted meetings, the Secretariat tackled topics on the Fiscal Incentives Registration and Monitoring System (FIRMS), the ex-ante cost and benefit analysis (CBA), the Annual Tax Incentives Report (ATIR) and Annual Benefits Report (ABR), and the status of report submissions of the different IPAs.

For some sessions, the Secretariat also invited resource speakers from other national government agencies to discuss topics relevant to the provisions of the CREATE Act and the IPAs’ investment promotion efforts.

“We recognize the crucial role of our stakeholders in our effective implementation of the CREATE Act, and their active participation only signifies our shared responsibility for the country’s inclusive economic growth. Our stakeholders can be assured that the FIRB will continue to conduct more learning sessions like the town hall meetings to help them best understand the processes for availing tax incentives,” Danofrata added.

Apart from the virtual learning sessions, the Secretariat successfully rolled out in March 2022 its on-site IPA workshop series, which was also aimed at capacitating the IPAs’ representatives with the necessary skill set to accomplish the FIRB’s requirements.

The workshop series ran for more than a month and was attended by a total of 152 participants coming from all 14 IPAs across the country.

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