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Slow Business in Boracay
« on: November 09, 2018, 02:55:43 AM »
1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy, Inc.
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Tax relief and cash grants needed to ease the economic pain


Tax relief for businesses, residents, and workers in Boracay and surrounding areas has become even more necessary now that it has become clear that tourist arrivals will be limited to Boracay's so-called "carrying capacity" and with new inspections processes government agencies put in place, said Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, author of a bill granting a Boracay tax reprieve.

Uybarreta filed House Bill 8537 which seeks to provide a one-time allowable extraordinary operating loss deduction equivalent to fifty percent of audited operating losses incurred in taxable year 2018.

"Noting the continuing disregard to anti-littering and other environmental laws and regulations, there is an urgent need to impose stiffer fines and other administrative penalties against violators," the congressman said.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Boracay has a "carrying capacity of of 19,000 tourists per day or about 55,000 people including residents, workers and tourists."

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism said on October 25 that it accredited only 157 establishments in Boracay with total combined 7,300 rooms.

"With all these limitations, the financial health of Boracay businesses, employees, and residents will certainly be troubled this year and in 2019. Giving them urgent tax relief will ease the pain they are suffering," Rep. Uybarreta said.

The congressman added that the proposed Boracay Cleanup Shutdown Assistance and Ecological Sustainability Act also has provisions for cash grants for resident households or families of Boracay Island and the Municipalities of Malay and Caticlan in the Province of Aklan.

In HB 8537, the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be tasked to extend a special monthly cash grant in the following amounts:

a) Seven hundred pesos (P700.00) for every household member of families already enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD;

b) Five hundred pesos for every household member of families not enrolled in the 4Ps of the DSWD, but whose income are derived purely from monthly compensation income of less than twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).

Funding for the Pantawid Cash Grants would come from the President’s Social Fund, one percent of the lotto income of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and from taxes the national government earned from the implementation of Republic Act 10963.    

HB 8537 also creates a Boracay Ecological Sustainability Fund to be jointly administered by a Council made up of the Secretary of Tourism, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the chief executives of the barangays of Boracay Island and the municipalities of Malay and Caticlan of the Province of Aklan, and representatives of the local business and civil society sectors.

The fund shall partly finance the Boracay-Malay-Caticlan Sustainability Master Plan formulated and approved by the Fund Council.

Funding for the Boracay Ecological Sustainability Fund shall be derived from a Boracay Sustainability Fee of twenty pesos (P20.00) to be paid by every passenger of airlines and passenger ships traveling to and from Boracay, Caticlan.

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