PHILSTAR

THE continued delay in issuing the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan (SIPP) is not allowing Congress to exercise proper oversight over the implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, a senior House legislator said.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda said in a statement that he hopes the SIPP is released soon to facilitate more investment in high-value fields like technology.

He said the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) need to issue SIPP soon.

The SIPP is a key component of CREATE and identifies the industries that the government intends to support with fiscal incentives for investors.

“I am writing the DTI and the FIRB again since I gave an internal deadline of March 2022, before Ways and Means is forced to conduct oversight hearings,” Mr. Salceda said.

He said in December that the House tax panel cannot conduct its oversight function if the SIPP has not been released.

“Once you have that list, sectors with higher tech or higher value can upgrade to up to 17 years of incentives. For very large investments, they can get up to 40 years from the President.”

“We are working with the FIRB and the DTI to have a provisional SIPP issued, so that the industries we are sure we want can (start investing),” he added.

CREATE is the second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program. It reduces the corporate income tax rate from 30% to 20%, and makes fiscal incentives more time-bound and performance-based.

Mr. Salceda also noted that plans for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to enter the Philippines will be key in digitalizing the Philippines.

SpaceX, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, provides satellite broadband services capable of reaching remote communities. The DTI has said that SpaceX is currently conducting preliminary activities in preparation for entering the market.

“Fiber internet tends to be more expensive when you have to link thousands of islands, and for small island provinces like Catanduanes, Dinagat, Biliran, or Camiguin, fiber connections may not make commercial sense at all,” he said. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan