The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is opposing the tax incentive granted to a local unit of Thai agribusiness firm, Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corp. (CP Foods).
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said that only domestic export-producers are qualified to benefit from tax incentives, but not agribusinesses like CP Foods.
“We already have domestic players, so CP Foods is no longer qualified for a pioneer status. If they are going to take advantage of the domestic market, the only question we need to answer is, do we have an existing industry here?” she said.
“We should give incentives only to exporters who export finished or semi-finished products. If you’re investing because you want to take advantage of the domestic market, you should only give incentives to pioneer companies that come and set up,” the commissioner added.
CP Foods is enjoying “income tax holidays for six years” after the Board of Investments (BOI) upgraded the company’s undertaking to “pioneer status.”
The company, a local unit of the Thai Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co., is a food production firm.
Henares said that once a company is given pioneer status, that doesn’t mean that it should get tax breaks exceeding five years.
She added that the government gives “unnecessary” tax perks to some establishments to “become attractive and profitable to foreign investors.”
Local hog and poultry raisers, including the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., have been criticizing BOI’s grant of fiscal incentives to CP Foods.
However, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said that incentive-giving bodies should not grant tax perks to industries that are mature and viable, as it distorts the program’s main purpose of bringing more benefits to the Filipino people.
The Finance department is currently seeking Congress’ approval for the rationalization of fiscal incentives bill that aims to remove of tax- and duty-free privileges that are deemed “redundant.”
Raadee S. Sausa and Kristyn Nika M. Lazo