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PEZA requests gov’t to extend work-from-home incentives for locators until end of 2022

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority asked the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Finance to extend the incentives for work-from-home business model until the end of 2022.

PEZA director-general Charito Plaza said the PEZA board approved and forwarded the petition for assessment and approval by the DTI and the DOF.

“Recently, it has been reported that the government is seen to extend the temporary WFH authority for the IT and BPO ecozone locators. The PEZA board has okayed the request of PEZA management for the extension of the WFH arrangement until the end of 2022 and has now made a recommendation to the DTI and DOF to approve the said move,” she said.

PEZA said it also sent a letter to President Rodrigo to appeal for the lifting of the moratorium on economic zone development in Metro Manila by virtue of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act law.

“By allowing establishments of ecozones in Metro Manila, we believe this will also provide recovery measure for our developers and support industries who are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic,” Plaza said.

She said this would boost the confidence of economic zone enterprises like BPO companies to locate and expand in the Philippines and improve the attractiveness of the country to investors.

The economic zones managed to maintain operational capacity of establishments at 98 percent even in the strictest quarantine status, she said.

About 84 percent of the ITBPO companies and 95 percent of manufacturing enterprises continued operations under varying work arrangements, according to PEZA.

Plaza said COVID infections inside the economic zones were manageable as total cases hit 28,868 among 1.6 million active workers as of June 2021.

“It was reported the 24,343 people have already recovered. The total active cases remained at 3,870 with 116 mortalities,” she said.

Plaza said PEZA’s balancing act and a menu of business assistance and reprieves provided to locators and ecozone operators contributed to the low infection rate inside the zones.

Support coming from PEZA included the allowance of 90 percent of the total annual revenue derived from the WFH arrangement and the inclusion of COVID-related expenses as deductibles for enterprises availing of the 5-percent gross income tax incentive.

PEZA also allowed the maintenance of skeleton force per company and provided shuttle services and living quarters for workers.

“We are very strict in implementing the use of personal protective equipment and encourage locators to continuously disinfect premises,” Plaza said.

Topics: Philippine Economic Zone Authority , Department of Trade and Industry , Department of Finance
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