BPO group calls CREATE law amendments crucial if industry is to meet 2024 revenue, employment goals

BPO group calls CREATE law amendments crucial if industry is to meet 2024 revenue, employment goals

THE IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) expressed support for amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, saying that such reforms would help the industry hit its revenue target of $39 billion next year.

“IBPAP is looking at a continued growth of 7% to 8% in 2024 with a projected revenue of $39 billion and 1.84 million full-time employees. We support House Bill No. 8968 (CREATE MORE) as this would support the projected growth of the industry,” Celeste Ilagan, chief of policy and regulatory affairs officer for the organization, said via text.

The CREATE MORE measure (CREATE to Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy) was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 21.

CREATE MORE seeks to allow domestic market-focused companies and exporters, even those inside ecozones and freeports, to continue to enjoy duty exemptions, VAT exemptions on imports, and VAT zero-rating of local purchases as authorized by their respective investment promotion agency (IPA) registrations.

“It is important to maintain the cross-border doctrine/separate customs’ territory principle for ecozones and freeports to ensure consistency and clarity in VAT exemption and zero-rating privileges for industry players registered with IPAs,” she said.

IBPAP, which represents an industry also known as the business process outsourcing sector, also sought clarification of the bill’s work-from-home arrangements, particularly for companies registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“We must become more responsive to the changing needs of existing and potential investors. In the past three years, industry players have implemented various remote work models,” Ms. Ilagan said.

She added that the CREATE MORE bill would help attract investors and ease the process of doing business.

“IPAs are the investors’ primary contact from their initial exploration of setting up operations in the country. Their confidence in the country’s business environment and ease of doing business is driven by their engagement with their IPAs,” Ms. Ilagan said.

IBPAP also urged Congress to approve the proposed Open Access in Data Transmission act, amendments to the Cybercrime law, and the Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

“To enhance the country’s IT-BPM (information technology and business process management) investment attractiveness, we also need to prioritize digital connectivity and cybersecurity,” Ms. Ilagan said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz