Senator Nancy Binay has backed the appeal of tourism stakeholders for the deferment of the payment of local taxes this year due to the massive losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I hope the government will accede to the appeal for deferment of the tourism establishments. The tourism industry is one of the most affected so we need to give them some leeway,” Binay said.
The Tourism Congress of the Philippines recently sent a letter to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año seeking help in getting local government units to defer the payment of business taxes.
The TCP said it had received reports from its members that various LGUs had been issuing assessment fees for business taxes, with some assessments based on 2019 income.
Binay said tourism establishments shouldn’t be expected to be able to pay their taxes based on un-adjusted assessments, given that the sector had ground to a halt after the first quarter of 2020 after travel restrictions were imposed.
The country’s tourism receipts fell by 81 percent to PHP81.05 billion from January to November 2020, down from PHP437.9 billion in the same period in 2019.
“We understand the side of LGUs. After all, taxes are the lifeblood of public services,” Binay said.
“But these establishments are also part of their constituency and they provide jobs for our people. They might be forced to stop operations if they will be compelled to pay if they’re aren’t capable this time.”
Binay also urged the government, particularly the DILG and LGUs, to engage in dialogue with tourism stakeholders to determine a solution to the latter’s request for concessions to aid the industry’s recovery.