CCCI wants manual for Cebu province

TO help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) grow in the countryside, the newly-elected leader of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) plans to propose the creation of an investment manual in the Province of Cebu.

The manual will detail the cost of doing business in each town in Cebu so they’d know how they fare, and whether they are expensive or cheaper, compared to their neighboring towns.

CCCI president Antonio Chiu believes having a manual would be helpful in attracting industries to expand or relocate operations in the countryside.

One factor that blocks entrepreneurs from dispersing their investments is the high business tax imposed in far areas.

Chiu said that unlike Cebu City, which observes graduated business tax rates, those in the countryside only observe one category of business tax regardless of how high the gross sales is.

“If you have high gross sales, the tax rate should be reduced. Unfortunately, other areas don’t follow that because they only observe one category,” said Chiu, adding that he would push to settle this business concern with the Province to make Cebu more attractive to investors.

“That category was applicable some 30 years ago, when businesses used to only generate P1 million to P3 million. But nowadays, it’s different. Businesses located outside the city center earn P10 million to P50 million,” explained Chiu. “So the business tax is a bit of a burden.” Chiu clarified he isn’t suggesting to repeal the tax rate. “They just have to add categories,” he said. “If you want to attract businesses to go to your place, then don’t impose such a high tax,” he added.

The CCCI official further explained that adjusting the tax rate system would benefit the local community because more jobs will be generated. Traffic in the city will likewise be lessened, as more people will choose to work in their hometowns, and consumers will have more buying capacity with the dispersal of investments in the countryside.

“The LGUs would really get a better income,” he said.

Recently, the Philippines ranked first in the list of best countries to invest in for 2017 identified by US News, whose list is guided by the report from the World Bank Group.

The Philippines, which grew by 6.9 percent and with a population of over 100 million and with a total of $304.9 billion gross domestic product value, outshined Indonesia (ranked 2) Poland (3), Malaysia (4), Singapore (5), Australia (6), Spain (7), Thailand (8), India (9) and Oman (10).

For the best countries to invest in ranking, US News focused on just eight of 65 attributes: entrepreneurship, economic stability, favorable tax environment, innovation, skilled labor, technological expertise, dynamism, and corruption.

Responses from over 6,000 survey participants — who act as decision-makers in business around the globe — were then used to determine the ranking.
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