PWD Discount, Top Philippine Companies, Corporate Income Tax Reduction, And More News

BIR releases new regulations granting PWDs a special 5% discount on basic necessities

According to the latest regulations released by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) will be entitled to a five percent special discount on basic necessities starting next month.

Currently, PWDs enjoy a 20% discount and VAT exemption on medical and dental services, domestic air and sea transportation fares, land transportation fare, and funeral and burial services under Republic Act. No. 20754, or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of PWD.

The BIR issued last Tuesday (August 27, 2019) Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 9-2019, amending RR No. 5-2017, which grants PWDs an additional discount, 5% on the regular retail prices of basic necessities and prime commodities. This, however, does not exempt them from the 12% value-added tax (VAT).

Basic necessities were defined as goods “vital to the needs of consumers,” while prime commodities are goods that are “essential” to them.

Discounts are limited to purchases not exceeding to P1,300 per calendar week without any carryover of the unused amount. Purchased items should only be for the PWD’s own consumption.

The regulations, which were signed by Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on August 8, 2019 and also by BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay, will be effective as early as next month or 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two newspapers.

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Eight Filipino companies make Forbes Asia Magazine’s ‘Best Over A Billion 2019’

Eight major Philippine companies landed on Forbes Asia magazine’s first-ever “Best Over a Billion List,” which spotlights 200 best-performing publicly listed companies with revenues of at least $1 billion across the Asia-Pacific region. The local companies that made it to the roster are:

  • Ayala Corporation
  • Cosco Capital
  • GT Capital Holdings
  • JG Summit
  • Jollibee Foods
  • Megaworld Corporation
  • San Miguel Food and Beverage, and
  • SM Investments Corporation

SM Investments Corporation led the Philippine firms with revenues of $7.993 billion in 2018 and a $704-million net income.

Forbes Asia evaluated 3,200 listed companies in the region based on more than a dozen metrics including their average five-year sales, operating income growth, return on capital, and projected growth over the next one to two years.

Firms with declining revenues for the past five years were removed, and those remaining subjected to more than a dozen metrics like average five-year sales, operating income growth, return on capital and projected growth over the next one to two years.

The biggest companies on the list by market value hailed from the technology sector and the region’s largest markets, including internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, as well as semiconductor giants Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, and SK Hynix.

China tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited topped overall with $56.163 billion revenues.

Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo apparel chain founded by Japanese billionaire Tadashi Yanai, is among the 10 largest companies on the list by market value.

P223.1M worth of assets sold by the PDIC

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) sold P223.1 million worth of properties held by 533 shuttered banks through six public biddings from January to July of this year.

In a press release, the PDIC said that this activity enhances the chances of creditors of closed banks to recover their funds.

The PDIC said in a statement that collectively, the public biddings yielded an aggregate premium of P57.9 million over the total minimum disposal price of P165.2 million.

Proceeds from the sale of closed banks’ properties are added to the pool of funds of these banks for distribution to creditors and uninsured depositors in accordance with the rules on concurrence and preference of credits, it added.

PDIC, an attached agency of the Department of Finance, was created in 1963 by virtue of Republic Act No. 3591 as amended to insure the deposits of all banks.

This government-owned and controlled corporation exists to protect depositors by providing deposit insurance coverage up to P500,000 per depositor.

Bill seeking to reduce corporate income tax to 20% discussed by lawmakers

The House of Representatives has started plenary deliberations on a bill proposing to lower corporate income taxes and rationalize fiscal incentives.

The Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), or the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill, was refiled in the 18th Congress after failing to get the approval of the Senate in the 17th Congress. It seeks to encourage investments by slashing the country’s corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 30% down to 20%.

This aims to make up for the lost revenues from the lower tax rate by removing fiscal incentives granted to select firms.

House Ways and Means Chairperson Representative Joey Salceda says he made two amendments to the bill. First, he proposed to set up a fiscal incentives review board to be chaired by the DOF. Secondly, he also pushed to revise the timelines for the staggering reduction of corporate income taxes and income tax holidays as the government transitions to the new tax regime.

Under the measure, the CIT will be reduced by two percent every two years until it reaches 20 percent. Starting January 2021, the CIT will be decreased to 28% and shall be 20 percent by January 2029.

The bill also provides for the removal of not only preferential tax rate of certain corporate taxpayers but also the option for corporations, including resident foreign corporations, to avail of the 15 percent gross income tax.

It also removes the perpetual five percent on gross income earned and limits income tax holidays. Incentives will be granted for a maximum of five years, but investors and locators are encouraged to reapply after the five-year or seven-year period.

Meanwhile, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) and Pag-IBIG will be exempted from income taxation given that the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) are already exempted.

The DOF says they’re confident are looking forward that the new ease of doing business law as well as modern infrastructure will make the Philippines more attractive to investors and make up for the loss of some incentives.

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Aiming to diminish poverty, OGPI transforms Mineral Resources into Human Capital

With the goal to help alleviate poverty in the Philippines and to prepare its communities for the end of mine life, OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc. (OGPI) amplified its delivery of quality education and capability-building programs in its communities, in collaboration with community leaders and elders.

From 2013 to 2018, OceanaGold’s literacy and education programs have directly assisted more than 4,500 individuals with a total of P266 million ($5.3 million) worth of investment.

OceanaGold has opened opportunities for learning and capacity-building in different levels such as the provision of basic and higher education to its communities, various training programs to community residents, pre-employment trainings, and education program for its employees. The Didipio mine in Nueva Vizcaya employs around 1,500 individuals.

As per OGPI’s General Manager David Way, the company aims to create a positive social impact through the provision of literacy and education, focusing on wide-spread capacity-building of residents in their neighboring communities including both the young and elderly.

OGPI’s OceanaGold’s 11 beneficiary barangays have approximately 15,000 residents, most of whom are originally from Ifugao and have migrated to Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya and its neighboring barangays.