One senator aspirant in the country suggests that the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry should have tax incentives that will urge businesses to upskill its workforce with today’s trends, such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning. Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas said the BPO industry can reinvent itself with this.
During a forum held last month at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Rappler reported that BPO workers asked questions to the candidate, such as how will the BPO industry upskill their employees. Roxas answered that the business model is already proven, and what should be done is to change the way how BPO businesses are incentivized. Further explaining, he said BPO businesses should be incentivized in order to train their workforce “for the next-level process and the next-level jobs.”
“It’s in their interest to train their workers to move up. So, in that case, we can incentivize the training of Filipinos. The companies themselves will do the training, and the incentive will be a deduction or double deduction in their taxes,” he added as quoted on the report.
In addition, Roxas said the packages, which include incentives, education, infrastructure, amenities, and more, must be in line with the present-day challenges, which he said as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data.
Roxas is the former chief of the Department of Trade and Industry during the Estrada presidency and also ran for the presidency in 2016 but lost. He also lobbied for the revision of the Republic Act 7916 in order to allow buildings or floors in buildings register as economic zones. Those that were registered as an economic zone are able to experience exemptions in paying national and local taxes and are only required to pay 5% of their gross income as tax.
The Philippines offers a huge number of economic zones and buildings/floors that are PEZA-accredited, giving businesses tax benefits and even non-fiscal incentives, such as extended visa facilitation assistance and simplified import-export procedures. Aside from this, these areas are located within strategic business centres with transportation hubs and both residential and commercial centres, making it a potential place to start a business.
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