Local and foreign tourists are seen in Puka Beach in Boracay, Aklan, April 6, 2023. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

SENATOR Sherwin “Win” T. Gatchalian has sponsored to the plenary a bill seeking to provide a value-added tax (VAT) refund for foreign tourists, which he said would encourage visitor spending in the Philippines.

“The VAT refund mechanism emerges as our gateway to achieving a competitive edge, harmonizing us with our neighboring nations in the pursuit of excellence,” Mr. Gatchalian, chairman of the ways and means committee, said during the Senate’s Monday plenary session.

Under Senate Bill No. 2415, non-resident tourists will be eligible for a VAT refund for goods purchased if they are purchased locally from stores accredited by the government, the goods are taken out of the country within 60 days from the date of purchase, and must amount to at least P3,000.

“By incentivizing tourists to spend within our borders, we will undoubtedly drive economic growth, create employment opportunities and enhance the overall well-being of our people,” said the senator. — John Victor D. Ordoñez