Last October 6, National Telecommunications Commission’s directive to shift to the eight-digit landline number format was fully implemented. This is seven months later than the original migration date set by NTC in response to petitions filed by companies and establishments to provide ample time to prepare and make necessary adjustments.
Businesses needed to update client phone numbers, schedule a period for rigid testing and validation, conduct of an intensive and expansive campaign for clients, update marketing collaterals and comply with rules and regulations of regulatory agencies.
In 2019, more bills and amendments were filed and signed to further support the local players in the country. To prioritize continuous economic growth, the government continuously develop policies that would benefit the business sector, as well as their employees.
Here are a few that would have a direct effect on your business policies and operations:
TRABAHO Bill (TRAIN 2)
House Bill No. 8083 or the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill, more commonly known as TRAIN 2 will have some of the most impactful effects on businesses in the Philippines. Once the bill is passed, fiscal tax incentives currently enjoyed by companies who are registered under the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 and other related laws protecting their interest will be revoked.
This includes the 5 percent gross income tax (GIT) incentive enjoyed by companies currently offered by Investment Promotion Agencies such as PEZA. Moreover, the option to apply for a Tax Credit Certificate (TCC) on the refund of input VAT is removed for those attributable to zero-rated sales or transactions.
Tax Amnesty Bill
The Tax Amnesty Bill or Senate Bill Another 2059 aims to provide a one-time opportunity for taxpayers to settle their lapsed tax obligations through an amnesty program. This offers businesses with long-overdue liabilities to settle their delinquencies and start with a clean slate. The tax amnesty would allow businesses with delinquencies to pay only at least 40 percent of the tax assessed.
The proposed bill also provides for certain restrictions on who is excluded from the tax amnesty program such as but not limited to those with tax evasion cases, issues of graft and corruption, violation of the anti-money laundering law, fraud and other similar cases.
Amendment of Corporate Code of the Philippines
SB 1280 is an act amending the Corporate Code of the Philippines. This amendment aims to improve the ease of doing business and modernize procedures to improve and elevate the standards in the country’s corporate setting in line with existing international best practices. The objective of this bill is to simplify the registration of corporation by introducing a one-person corporation and provide a perpetual life for corporations that have been already registered.
Acknowledging the wider options for working setups, RA 11165 or the Telecommunicating Act is now a law in the Philippines. Dubbed as the 'work-from-home’ law, this protects home-based or virtual workers by imposing that they should still be paid with full benefits and be protected with the same employee rights. Companies are also moved to shoulder or subsidize the telecommunications cost of their employees.
The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) from the Department of Labor and Employment provide a list of the contents of an employer’s telecommuting policy or agreement.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act
To support initiatives that help in combating climate change and promote sustainability, President Rodrigo Duterte has fully signed into law RA 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. The new law paves the way for the employment of Certified Energy Conservation Officers, Certified Energy Managers, Energy Service Companies, and energy labels.