Action for Economic Reforms (AER) urged the House of Representatives, through Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, to adopt the Senate version of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Bill. The bill was passed on second and third reading in the Senate on November 26.

“This will not only quicken the process of having the law implemented, but will also create certainty, as it avoids further disagreements which may lead to the dilution of the reforms,” Jessica Reyes-Cantos, president of AER, said in a statement.

The CREATE Bill is the latest in the series of tax reforms that AER has supported. It echoed the position of Ways and Means Committee Chairman of the House of Representatives, Rep. Joey Salceda, who previously recommended that the House adopt the Senate version of CREATE, so it can be signed into law before the end of the year. President Duterte certified CREATE as urgent in March of this year.

AER’s appeal to the House to adopt the Senate’s version of CREATE arrives amidst attempts of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) locators to further amend the bill. These locators proposed to further raise the threshold amount for investments requiring FIRB approval.

However, AER said that the Senate version of CREATE already features acceptable compromises, and further amendment would defeat the reform’s objectives. “The compromises found in the Senate bill reflect the bottom-line agreements that are acceptable to stakeholders from government, business and civil society. Further adjustments that are not contrary to the spirit of CREATE can be done through the implementing rules and regulations,” said Reyes- Cantos.

“Your leadership adopting the Senate version and assuring the attainment of the reform objectives will be seen as a class act, an act of statesmanship,” said Reyes-Cantos.