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Corporate Taxes and Incentives in the New Normal: A Briefer on the CREATE Act

by Azyleah Ignacio-Ibaviosa and Ann Geron

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was placed under prolonged lockdowns, depressing economic activity and impacting business and consumer confidence. Philippine gross domestic product shrank by 9.5% in 2020, the worst contraction the country has experienced since World War II. The pandemic has cost Filipinos their jobs; currently, over four million are unemployed. With the closing of borders and decreased mobility, tourism took a hard hit. In 2020, two million people employed in the tourism industry lost their jobs, and tourism’s contribution to the local economy dropped roughly USD 37 billion from the previous year. Apart from the dire state of the economy, dialogues with both the business and professional sectors revealed the need for a more enhanced and recalibrated tax reform bill that would urgently address the pandemic’s debilitating effect on the economy. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which employ the majority (63%) of Filipino workers in the country, were forced to restructure operations and lobbied for financial support in fears of shutting down.

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