Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Monday sought tax perks for Filipino makers of COVID-19 medical equipment, adding that it would give more job opportunities as well as provide cheaper health supplies.
Pangilinan, author of the Senate Bill 1759 or the Pandemic Protection Act, pushed for supporting the "backliners" who make COVID-19 supplies for medical frontliners in the country.
"Dapat nga sinusuyo pa sila ng pamahalaan para tuloy-tuloy lang ang paggawa. Pag tumatakbo ang mga pagawaan, may trabaho ang mga Pilipino [Government should encourage them to stay the course. If factories are operating, Filipinos have jobs]," he said in a statement.
Under the measure, the importation of capital equipment, spare and accessories, raw materials and other needed articles is exempted from customs duties, value-added tax (VAT), other taxes and fees such as import processing fees and other fees imposed by the Bureau of Customs, Food and Drug Administration and other relevant agencies.
It is also indicated in the bill that local sales of critical products and services are exempted from VAT.
Further, the measure mandates businesses that produce and export critical products or services to supply up to 80 percent of their daily production to government institutions, hospitals, and private establishments for local and domestic use.
The pandemic bill is currently pending at the Senate while its counterpart at the House of Representatives is also pending approval.
Last week, the head of the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE (CPMP) said that more than 24,000 workers of a local PPE manufacturer had to be retrenched last year due to a lack of orders. — Consuelo Marquez/BM, GMA News