Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that hit globally, one of the Philippine’s top priority is to ensure that its citizen will be safe and will have access to government support and aid.
Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s proposed Balik Probinsiya Program (Back to the Province Program or BPP) will be a “top priority” as the country shifts to the “new normal,” said Malacañang. Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said government agencies had started to finalize the relocation of people from Metro Manila and other urban centers to their home provinces.
President Rodrigo Duterte backed the proposed BPP, saying that having a fresh start in the provinces would give a sense of hope for people amid the coronavirus pandemic.Senator Bong Go
He explained that motivating city dwellers and incentivizing businesses to relocate to the provinces would be the long-term goal. Key programs of different agencies that can help promote the BPP must be identified and prioritized.
The senator said the policies that the government and local government units might come up with would complement the objectives of the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (Citira) now pending in the Senate.
The bill, which seeks to reform the corporate income tax and incentives system, will provide a fair ground of tax collection and incentive for urban and rural areas, and benefit local and rural communities with the new investments coming in.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd and acting National Economic and Development Authority Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua believe that passage of the Citira bill will reinforce the BPP.
Chua says the grant of tax incentives can be more targeted to the provinces since the present system grants the same incentives regardless of the location of a business in the country.
And by giving more incentives for new business in the countryside, Chua believes that investors can invest outside of Metro Manila and other metropolitan areas.
With additional reports: The Manila Times, Catherine Valente
Photo Sources: PNA Agency, Philstar, CTTO