A RAFT of trade-related measures filed in the 17th Congress must be closely monitored by stakeholders, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), industry leaders have urged.
Among the bills introduced in the Senate is Senate Bill (SB) 264 or “An Act Instituting Reforms to Further Protect and Develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Amending for the Purpose Executive Order (EO) 81, also known as the 1986 Revised Charter of the Development Bank of the Philippines, As Amended.”
In his explanatory note, Sen. Ralph Recto said the bill seeks to amend the DBP Charter mandating it to devote 80 percent of total loan portfolio (TLP) to the programs and projects of MSMEs and local government units.
This will “effectively channel financial resource Trade-related draft bills filed in 17th Congress need close scrutiny
A RUSH of legislative measures has been filed in the 17th Congress that should bear close monitoring by stakeholders in the business community, particularly by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), industry leaders urge.
Among the bills introduced in the Senate is Senate Bill (SB) 264, or “An Act Instituting Reforms to Further Protect and Develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Amending for the Purpose Executive Order (EO) 81, also known as the 1986 Revised Charter of the Development Bank of the Philippines, As Amended.”
In his explanatory note, Sen. Ralph Recto said the bill seeks to amend the Charter of the DBP, mandating it to devote 80 percent of its total loan portfolio (TLP) to the programs and projects of MSMEs and local government units.
This will “effectively channel financial resources to these sectors acknowledged as critical drivers of economic growth,” according to the draft bill.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, in a recently filed SB 231 or “An Act Revising the Corporation Code of the Philippines,” wants the process of incorporation streamlined for ease of doing business in the country.
The regulation seeks to simplify the name verification process, institute online registration and document submissions, allow one-person corporations, and define and differentiate small corporations from the other corporations.
Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino’s SB 169 or “An Act Establishing a Simplified Tax Regime for Small Businesses, and for This Purpose Amending Certain Provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code” is another bill.
Also called the Small Business Tax Reform Act, the measure seeks to simplify tax procedures for small businesses through simpler bookkeeping, a special lane and assistance desk for small businesses, exemption from tax audit, annual filing of returns, and installment payments. The bill also proposes to lower the income tax rate for small businesses and exempt them from VAT payment.
SB 38, filed by Sen. Loren Legarda, is pushing for policies that “put innovation at the center of our development policies and adopt a clear, long-term view of the country’s innovation goals; improve the governance framework for innovation; and mandate key reform areas toward building a healthy innovation ecosystem for the country.”
Other notable bills recently filed before the Senate include Drilon’s SB 229 or the “Fiscal Incentives Rationalization Act” and SB 16 or “The New Central Bank Act.
Aquino’s SB 175 or the “Innovative Start-Up Act” as well as SB 81 or the One-Person Corporations Act signed by Sen. Francis Escudero have also been filed since Congress resummed last month after a recess.
In the Lower House, solons Karlo Nograles and Jericho Nograles have submitted for review by the trade and industry committee their jointly sponsored House Bill (HB) 1699.
Also called “An Act Creating the Philippine Trade Representative Office, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes,” the bill decrees the creation of a dedicated agency that will formulate domestic and national trade priorities, be responsible for all trade negotiations, and represent the country in all trade agreements it wishes to enter.
The goal of the proposed measure is for the Philippines to “efficiently promote our own products and protect our own economy and domestic market from unfair trade practices.”
For his part, Rep. Danilo Suarez of Quezon has introduced HB 1248 or “An Act Rationalizing the Fees and Charges on Firearms, Ammunition, Spare Parts, Accessories, Components, Explosives, Explosive Ingredients, Pyrotechnics and Firecrackers, Amending for the Purpose Executive Order 256, S. 1995.”
The draft bill proposes to allow the Philippine National Police (PNP) to use its revenue from licensing, registration, and issuance of permits to modernize the agency and improve its services. Part of the revenue will come from the rates and fees charged by the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Division (FED) on firearms, ammunitions, spare parts, accessories, components, explosive ingredients, pyrotechnics, and firecrackers. Suarez proposes adjusting these charges to “more realistic rates” and retaining 20 percent of the collected fees to fund the FED’s operations.
Government and private sector leaders have repeatedly asked businesses, particularly MSMEs which make up an overwhelming majority of establishments in the Philippines, to be an active partner in the policy decision-making to ensure their needs are met and their interests are protected.