Wipro Philippines Inc., a business process outsourcing company from India that employs around 8,000 Filipinos, shelved its expansion plan in the country amid worries over the proposed second tranche of the comprehensive tax reform program known as the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act.
Officials of Wipro sought to find “clarity” on the second part of the tax reform program during the state visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Manila.
“As an investor who is keen on generating employment here, we want stability in policies,” said Wipro Philippines country head Aseem Roy at the sidelines of the two-day Philippine-India Business Conclave and the 4th ASEAN-India Business Summit.
The business summit, which was a part of President Kovind’s state visit, gathered both government and business leaders for cooperation and possible agreements to broaden trade and investment opportunities for both countries.
Roy said the company’s expansion plan was put on hold until the legislative deliberations on the CITIRA bill was over.
“We had a dialog with our officers to determine where we should put out money in. I’m sure that the government does not want employment to decrease in the provinces to which we all agree.
We want clarity and don’t tell us that after one year the incentives are gone,” he said.
Wipro has a facility in Manila and another in Cebu which both employ a workforce of 8,000 people.
Roy clarified that the company had no plan of leaving the country after having an impressive year in 2018.
He said Wipro added 2,000 to 2,500 individuals to its talent pool last year, compared to the annual average of 400 to 500 heads.
Roy said while the company was scouting for new sites in the provinces, the expansion plan would be dependent on the future of the CITIRA bill.
“We have been more conservative with our expansion because of CITIRA. If there’s a customer who’s doing business, they’re not going to simply sign here. That is now holding us back. It doesn’t make sense right now,” Roy said.
He said the government should have planned accordingly and made sure that foreign companies operating here were covered against changes in policies.
“Because when you sign a deal with a customer, you know that there’s going to be no changes. The tax incentives are going to stay as they are. All we are seeking is clarity. We will put a date and time and see how it is going to be in 2020,” Roy said.