Gov't to bring businesses to disaster-affected areas.
The Board of Investments (BOI) has identified 134 calamity-stricken cities and municipalities as 'least developed areas (LDAs)' under the government's Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).
This meant that any facility, project and activity brought to these specific low-income and disaster-stricken areas would be given attractive incentives, including tax deductions, in order to boost economic activities there.
Based on Memorandum Circular No. 2016-003 published on Friday, 'registered projects located in identified LDAs shall be entitled to pioneer incentives and additional deduction from taxable income equivalent to 100 percent of expenses incurred in the development of necessary and major infrastructure facilities unless otherwise specified in the IPP's specific guidelines.'
This program, it said, was in line with the 'administration's strategy to move into the medium to long term recovery and rehabilitation of areas highly affected by calamities.'
These 134 cities and municipalities are located in 14 provinces: Leyte, which is host to 28 LDAs; Eastern Samar (four); Western Samar (four); Biliran (one); Southern Leyte (one); Iloilo (27); and Capiz (17).
Also on the list are the provinces of Antique, which has 11 LDAs included in the IPP; Aklan (14); Cebu (14); Negros Occidental (seven); Palawan (four); Masbate (one); and Dinagat Islands (one).
An LDA is determined based on several criteria including low per capital gross domestic product, low level of investments, high rate of unemployment and/or underemployment, and low level of infrastructure development including its accessibility to the urban centers, the memo read.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier bared plans to tweak the IPP to include a provision on LDAs as a way to boost economic activities in the rural areas and decentralize growth from the major urban centers like Metro Manila. This was also in line with President Duterte's 10-point economic agenda, which seeks to ensure inclusive growth.