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PEZA commits BoI endorsement for all BPO registry transfer applications received by mid-Dec.

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said all applications received by Dec. 16 from information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies seeking to switch their registrations to the Board of Investments (BoI) will be endorsed to the board by year’s end.

Vivian S. Santos, PEZA officer-in-charge deputy director general for operations, said in a recent briefing that Dec. 16 is PEZA’s internal deadline which will allow it to effect the transfers to the BoI by the end of 2022.

“…We are actually asking BoI if it could still receive applications as of Dec. 31 as indicated in the (Fiscal Incentives Review Board) resolution, but then BoI would not extend the period for receiving PEZA endorsement. So in order for PEZA to endorse on or before Dec. 31, we need to also come up with (our own) deadline (of) Dec. 16. That’s the last day of filing,” Ms. Santos said.

“We are committed that all applications received on that day with complete requirements (will be endorsed) on or before Dec. 31,” she added.

Companies within the industry have been permitted to transfer their registrations to the BoI, which is not requiring them to limit the number of employees who can work from home, unlike PEZA, which requires a certain proportion of on-site work within economic zones.

PEZA described the registration shift as a “paper transfer” and will retain some administrative functions over the registrants, including monitoring their compliance with the terms of their tax incentive agreements.

PEZA said that it has received 351 applications from IT-BPOs for change of registration to the BoI as of Dec. 12.

On Nov. 17, PEZA endorsed 163 IT-BPO projects for BoI registration involving a total investment of P13.9 billion.

The inter-agency FIRB issued Resolution 026-22 in September, which allowed IT-BPO registered business enterprises (RBEs) to shift their registration to the BoI from the PEZA, allowing them to offer their workers 100% WFH while keeping their tax perks under Republic Act No. 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

The resolution gives registered IT-BPOs until Dec. 31 to change their registration to the BoI from the PEZA.

The CREATE Law requires RBEs to conduct operations within economic zones in order to be eligible for fiscal incentives. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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