Incentives not enough, must be ‘consistently’ implemented–IBPAP

THE IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said incentives will always be important to attract and retain investors, but stressed that these incentives should be “consistently” implemented as this is what investors look at.

“IBPAP’s position is that incentives will always be important to attract and retain investors. It is not for me to say what the ideal length of time is,” IBPAP President and CEO Jack Madrid said in a televised interview on Monday.

However, the IBPAP chief emphasized that the incentives that have been granted to investors  should “be consistently applied and that our rules and regulations on taxes and our non-fiscal incentives should be clear and consistently implemented.”

Madrid said that in IBPAP, their primary job is to continue to attract investors in the coming years. With this, the IBPAP chief stressed, “There’s still a lot of work to be done ahead of us but certainly clarity of regulations will always be important,” noting that this is what investors look at when they consider the Philippines compared to other locations.

One of the goals of the IBPAP as the flagship organization of the IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry is to position the Philippines as a premier and preferred destination for digitally-enabled services in the global IT-BPM industry.

Since there is still “quite a bit of work to be done,” Madrid emphasized that he will always engage with lawmakers and government officials to better inform them and “have the right bills in place moving forward.”

What jobs creation entails

Meanwhile, as the IBPAP targets to create 1.1 million new jobs in six years, the organization said in an earlier statement that it will only be possible if enabling conditions are met such as favorable government policies or incentives and remote work; stronger and more reliable infrastructure; accelerated upskilling and reskilling of the Filipino talent for digital services; enhanced value proposition to highlight country-level competitiveness; and improved ease of doing business to attract more global investors.

Speaking from another industry but still on incentives and wooing investors, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI) President Dan Lachica earlier urged the government to review the incentives rationalization under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, which he said had led to the loss of some $3.2 billion of investments that could have gone to the Philippines but were instead moved by multinational firms to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and China, among others.

The Seipi chief earlier stressed that the incentives rationalization put their industry at a disadvantage.  He said the government should review the incentives rationalization and promote the ease of doing business as well as reconcile policies that have proved to be helpful to the industry.