25, 2013

NR # 3026B

Solon says international air transport services to boost tourism and trade
A lawmaker has expressed confidence that the soon-to-be-enacted bill rationalizing taxes on international air carriers would reverse the current exodus of air transport services from the country. “I am confident that President Aquino would soon sign the measure exempting international air carriers from paying tax on income derived from doing business in the country, which would mean more gains than losses for the government,” Rep. Jerry Treñas (Lone District, Iloilo City) said. The exit of international carriers from the country, where foreign carriers are taxed, has been in stark contrast to the growth in services experienced by neighboring Asian nations that do not tax foreign carriers, Treñas added. The Congress-ratified bicameral conference committee report on HB 6022 and SB 3343, which rationalizes the taxes on international air carriers operating in the Philippines, is now awaiting the final green light from the President. Treñas, who is chairman of the House committee on Good Government, is author of an original measure (HB 4444) that was consolidated in HB 6022 and subsequently included in the list of Malacañang priority measures. “The country’s links with the global markets in tourism and in trade are poor relative to neighboring countries and will suffer substantial deterioration if corrective statutes are not put in place,” Treñas said. Treñas said international air transport connectivity is the most critical infrastructure linking the Philippines to the global export markets of tourism and international business. “Efficient air transport connectivity enables the movement of more than 8.2 million OFWs, including those in ship crewing, healthcare, IT, and hospitality industries,” he added. He also said airlines are providing seamless travel connections for customers and suppliers of services like those in health tourism, retirement, logistics, creative industries, business process outsourcing, high yield backroom operations and regional headquarters that require direct access and easy entry and exit to and from the Philippines. “In other words, the imposition of said income tax means more losses than gains for the government,” Treñas said. (30) dpt

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