THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) said 786 information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) projects have been endorsed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), as part of a registration transfer scheme that would allow companies to fully implement work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and keep their fiscal incentives.

Evariste M. Cagatan, BoI executive director, said certificates of registration have been given to 627 out of the 786 IT-BPM projects.

“As of Dec. 15, the number of projects endorsed by the PEZA (to the BoI) is at 786 projects… The total project cost is P98 billion,” she said at a media briefing last week.

The registration transfer of PEZA-registered IT-BPM firms to the BoI was approved in September when the interagency Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) issued Resolution No. 026-22.   

The FIRB is in charge of granting tax incentives to registered business enterprises (RBEs), including IT-BPM companies.   

Under the resolution, registered IT-BPMs are allowed to conduct a 100% WFH arrangement and still enjoy fiscal incentives offered under Republic Act No. 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law by transferring their registration from the PEZA to the BoI.

Ceferino S. Rodolfo, BoI managing head and Trade undersecretary, said there is no word if there would be an extension of the Dec. 31 deadline for the registration transfer to the BoI from the PEZA.

“I don’t know yet if the deadline will be moved. So far we’ve worked within the deadline. So we’ll assess based on the numbers,” Mr. Rodolfo said in mixed English and Filipino.   

Under the FIRB resolution, PEZA-registered IT-BPM firms have until Dec. 31 to shift their registration to the BoI from the PEZA.

However, the PEZA previously said that it has set Dec. 16 as an internal deadline for the filing of transfer proposals in order to meet the Dec. 31 limit.   

Mr. Rodolfo said the BoI will consult with the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) to get the industry’s views on the matter.

“We’ll work closely with the IBPAP. Maybe because that is it, maybe the others are not interested in transferring. They are happy as it is. Maybe that is the case. We have to work really closely with the industry,” Mr. Rodolfo said.   

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, who serves as the chair of both the PEZA and the BoI, previously vowed for a “seamless transfer” of registered IT-BPM firms in order to enjoy 100% WFH arrangement. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave