Foreign chambers in the country have requested for the Senate deliberation on House Bill (HB) 8942 or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act, which might enhance the Philippines' ranking in global doing business index.

Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) said in a statement released on Wednesday that it recently sent a letter to the Senate Ways and Means Committee requesting that the bill be considered. The proposed law was approved by the House of Representative on third and final reading on September 15 and transmitted to the Senate on the next day.

According to JFC, the legislation's passage could boost the Philippine's standing in the World Bank's annual Doing Business worldwide index of 190 nations, which is closely scrutinized by foreign investors when deciding where to invest.

In 2020, the Philippines placed 95th, with Indonesia in 69th place, Vietnam in 70th place, Thailand in 21st place, Malaysia in 12th place, and Singapore in second place.

This ranking, JFC explained, includes the indicator "paying taxes," which measures "payments, time, and total tax and contribution rate for a firm to comply with all tax regulations as well as post-filing processes."

"We are certain that ending being the only country to require an OR (official receipt) and not accept the invoice is a positive step. If other countries that are ranked higher than the Philippines do not require this extra paperwork, then it is common sense to remove the requirement as soon as possible," it was quoted as to have said in the letter.

JFC went on to say that during this unprecedented time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when circumstances for taxpayers — whether corporate or individual — are extremely difficult, the government should be creative and innovative in collecting revenue for the fight against the virus, while also facilitating taxpayer compliance.

JFC is composed of American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc..