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IT-BPMs back amendments to CREATE, Cybercrime law

THE information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry said it expects to benefit from amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) and Cybercrime Prevention laws.

Jack Madrid, president of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), told reporters on Wednesday that the proposed amendments to CREATE will help clarify uncertainties in the law.

“You know, until we see the final version, we will not really be able to make any definitive comments,” Mr. Madrid said at an online briefing. “But from all indications, the amendments of CREATE in CREATE MORE (to Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy) will certainly clarify some of the ambiguity of CREATE,” he added.

The CREATE MORE bill, which seeks to cut the corporate income tax to 20% from 25%, was approved by the House of Representatives on final reading in March and has been passed on to the Senate.

“We are quite optimistic and confident that the amendments that will be proposed in the latest draft of CREATE MORE will provide clarity and stability in the incentive regime for our investors and for our industry,” said Mr. Madrid.

“It will also provide more clarity as to remote work and work from home privileges across the investment promotion agencies. So while we have not seen the final version, all indications are that this will be a net positive for the IT-BPM industry,” he added.

Under CREATE MORE, registered business enterprises in the IT-BPM industry can enjoy the incentives under the law while implementing hybrid work arrangements as long as they are compliant with the on-site work requirements set by their respective investment promotion agencies.

This sets a ceiling for alternative work arrangements at 50% of the total workforce or total work hours.

“Aside from CREATE MORE, one of the priorities for the industry is really to amend, working together with the Department of Justice, some badly needed adjustments to the cybercrime law,” Mr. Madrid said.

“The law is still constraining our industry from taking action against specific employees who are performing certain actions,” he added.

In particular, he said the industry wants to adjust the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to make it easier for employers to take action against such employees.

“And once we can establish that the Philippines is serious about deterring cybercrime, then we are hopeful that this actually becomes a competitive advantage for the Philippine industry compared to other countries,” he added.

According to Mr. Madrid, the amendments to the Cybercrime Law are also important in protecting IT-BPM companies bottom line against fraud. — Justine Irish D. Tabile