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Gatchalian wants online sellers covered by DTI incentives, not taxes

Budding online entrepreneurs should be provided incentives by the Deparment of Trade and Industry (DTI) to help them flourish amid the pandemic, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday.

In a statement, the vice chairperson of the Senate committee on economic affairs said online sellers should be covered by the microfinancing program of the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.)—a government-owned and controlled corporation under the DTI.

The SB Corp.'s enterprise rehabilitation financing facility allows micro and small enterprises to borrow P10,000 up to P500,000 with an interest rate of not more than 2.5% per month to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19, according to the senator.

"Ang DTI ay dapat magbigay pa nga ng puhunan sa mga Pilipino na nawalan ng trabaho at gustong makaahon sa kahirapan sa pamamagitan ng pagnenegosyo sa online," Gatchalian said.

"Sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya, mas magandang nasa tahanan lang sila at nag-nenegosyo. Nabibigyan pa nila ng trabaho ang mga delivery service riders," he added.

Gatchalian made the suggestion amid efforts of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to register digital businesses in a bid to ensure that they are tax compliant.

He underscored that online sellers need funding assistance instead of "untimely new taxes."

"Nakita ko na hindi rin handa ang ating pamahalaan na buwisan ang ating mga maliliit na negosyante dahil 'yung ultimong pagre-rehistro ay hindi pa sila handa kaya huwag na nating ipilit sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya," he added.

Gatchalian has previously said that the cost of going after small online sellers for tax could be higher than what will be collected.

Senator Sonny Angara, who chairs the committee on finance, also said the DTI should assist businesses to go digital.—AOL, GMA News