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PHILIPPINE FOREIGN INVESTMENT BRIEF - CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY


Aide Memoire
on Foreign Investments in the Philippines.
CONTENTS - AT A GLANCE

PART I - BASIC LEGAL FRAMEWORK

PART II - POLICY ON COMPETITION

PART III - POLICY ON EXPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY

PART IV - PHILIPPINE CURRENCY

PART V - FOREIGN EXCHANGE

PART VI - REPATRIATION OF FUNDS

PART VII - SOURCES OF FINANCING

PART VIII - INVESTMENT PROPOSAL AND APPROVAL

PART IX - APPLICATION AND APPROVAL FORMS

PART X - PERIODS WHEN PROCESSING OF APPLICATION AND APPROVAL COMPLETED

PART XI - ENTRY OF NON-RESIDENT PERSONNEL

PART XII - RESTRICTIONS ON EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS

PART XIII - MINIMUM WAGES AND LABOR LAWS

PART XIV - TAXATION LAW ON FOREIGN INVESTMENTS

PART XV - FISCAL INCENTIVES TO FOREIGN INVESTMENTS

FISCAL INCENTIVES - Under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987

FISCAL INCENTIVES - Under the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995

FISCAL INCENTIVES - Under the Export Development Act of 1994

FISCAL INCENTIVES - Under the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992

PART XVI - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION

PART XVII - INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS

PART XVIII - DISPUTES SETTLEMENT

PART XIX - GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CONCERNED WITH FOREIGN INVESTMENTS

PART XX - ONE -STOP ACTION CENTERS

PART XXI - SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES IN THE PHILIPPINES

  Government-Owned Ecozones

Private Ecozones  -    [Luzon]    [Visayas & Mindanao]  


 


PHILIPPINE FOREIGN INVESTMENT BRIEF
PART I

BASIC LEGAL FRAMEWORK

 

It is a basic and primordial constitutional and legal principle in the Philippines that the State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other States the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right of self-determination.

Foreign investments in the Philippines are basically governed by the following laws, rules, regulations and other government issuances:

    [1]  Executive Order No. 226 - The Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 - sets forth the rules and parameters within which foreign investments in the Philippines may be made, with emphasis on the grant of incentives to certain sectors.

    [2]  Republic Act No. 7042, as amended by Republic Act No. 8179 - The Foreign Investments Act of 1991 - dwells on foreign investments without incentives; it reduced the minimum paid-in equity from US Dollars Five Hundred Thousand [US$500,000] to US Dollars Two Hundred Thousand [US$200,000].

    [3]  Republic Act No. 7227 - The Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 - sets forth the grant of incentives to industries and enterprises which establish their plants and offices within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

    [4]  Republic Act No. 7916 - The Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 - treats of incentives granted to industries and enterprises which situate their operation within Special Economic Zones.

    [5]  Republic Act No. 7844 - The Export Development Act of 1994 - provides for incentives to business enterprises in the export industry.

    [6]  Republic Act No. 7721 - liberalized the entry and operations of foreign banks and financial institutions in the Philippines.

    [7]  Republic Act No. 7652 - The Investor's Lease Act - grants to foreign investors the privilege of leasing private lands for a period of fifty (50) years [initial] which may be renewed for another twenty-five (25) years.

    [8]  Republic Act No. 7718 - The Build-Operate-Transfer Act [BOT] -liberalized the implementation of the Build-Operate-Transfer Scheme in certain projects, eased the restrictions on government financing and setting and imposition of tolls and charges and wholly foreign-owned corporations are allowed to undertake certain projects under this scheme.

    [9]  Republic Act No. 7888 - grants authority to the President of the Philippines to suspend the nationality requirement under the Omnibus investments Code [Executive Order No. 226] in the case of equity investments by multilateral financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank [ADB] or the International Finance Corporation [IFC].


PART II
POLICY ON COMPETITION
Monopolies are not allowed in the Philippines.  It is a fundamental policy that the State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when public interest so requires. No combination in restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed.

PART III
POLICY ON EXPROPRIATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY

Expropriation of private property by the government is a policy which is exceptionally exercised.   In extreme and urgent cases where expropriation becomes necessary for public use or in the interest of national welfare, just compensation is required by law to be paid to the private owner of the property. Under this situation, the affected foreign enterprise or investor has the  right to remit any and all amounts received as just compensation for the expropriated property in the currency in which the investment was originally made and at the prevailing foreign exchange rate at the time it is remitted.
 

PART IV
PHILIPPINE CURRENCY
The currency of the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso [PhP]. A floating exchange rate system is being maintained by the Philippine government.  Under this system, the exchange rate is allowed to be determined principally by prevailing market forces.  The central bank authority - the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [BSP] - intervenes only for the purpose of limiting sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate to maintain order in the market conditions.


PART V
FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Reformatory measures to deregulate the Philippine foreign exchange system were implemented sometime in 1992.  Consequently, foreign exchange surrender requirements were removed, access to foreign currency deposit facilities was liberalized, restrictions on the repatriation of foreign investments and/or profit remittances were lifted and limitations on the quantitative restrictions on current account transactions deleted.

Registration with the central monetary authority - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [BSP] - of loans and investments accounts was lifted except in cases where funding will be made through the banking system of transactions like repatriation of capital and remittances of dividends and profits as well as foreign exchange requirement for future debt. 

Further, BSP approval and registration are required in case of outward investments of residents in an amount in excess of US$6,000,000.00, per investor per year should the funds therefor be sourced from the banking system.  Foreign borrowings by the public sector should also be approved by the BSP.

The law allows the deposit in foreign currency accounts of any foreign exchange received in the Philippines or abroad.  It also allows the selling and acquisition of foreign exchange outside of the Philippine banking system. The only restriction on foreign exchange transaction pertains to the payment of foreign loans and/or foreign investments, in which case, such may only be serviced with  foreign exchange purchased through authorized agent banks, if the loan is approved/registered with the BSP or the investment is registered therewith.  Thus,  in case of sales of foreign exchange for payment of foreign obligations [foreign loan or foreign investment], the purchaser shall be required by the authorized agent bank to present proof of BSP approval and/or registration for each loan or investment.

In case of purchase of foreign exchange for any non-trade purposes, authorized agent banks may sell foreign exchange to residents without need of prior BSP approval subject, however, to the following:

    [a]  Written notarized application and supporting documents from the foreign exchange purchaser if the amount exceeds US$25,000.00.

    [b] Simple written application if the amount does not exceed US$25,000.00.

This limitation on non-trade purchase cannot be circumvented by splitting the foreign exchange purchase into separate smaller amounts. Splitting of purchase of foreign exchange is presumed if the bank sells to any one purchaser, a combined total amount exceeding US$25,000.00 within a period of fifteen [15]
banking days.

In cases of outward payments, the law does not prescribe any particular currency requirements.  However, all foreign exchange proceeds from exports and invisibles should be procured through specified currencies numbering more than twenty [20].

Philippine-peso denominated bank accounts may be opened by non-residents - whether an individual or corporate without need to secure BSP approval. Non-resident depositors may freely withdraw their accounts but non-resident bank accounts may only be credited with the proceeds from inward foreign exchange remittance or with income earned in the Philippines.  The maintenance of foreign currency deposit accounts with local banks by residents and non-residents alike is not subject to any further restrictions.


PART VI
REPATRIATION OF FUNDS
[SALES PROCEEDS, PROFITS, DIVIDENDS, ROYALTIES, LOAN PAYMENTS & LIQUIDATION]
There are no existing restrictive regulations on the repatriation of funds related to BSP-registered foreign investments such as sales or divestment proceeds, profits, dividends, royalties, loan payments and liquidation. As earlier pointed out, BSP registration of foreign investments is necessary only in cases where the foreign exchange required to service the repatriation of capital and remittance of profits, dividends, royalties, loan payments or liquidation proceeds will be sourced from the banking system.

Further, it bears to emphasize that investments in government or listed securities or money market instruments or bank deposits need not be registered with the BSP or with the designated custodian bank of the investor concerned.


 

PART VII
SOURCES OF FINANCING
 
SOURCE 1 - Foreign Borrowings

[1]  Public Sector Loans - Under the law, all public sector loans taken from offshore sources and from Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDUs) must be approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [BSP]. The BSP approval, however, is not required in case of short-term interbank borrowings of public sector banks and short-term FCDU loans for trade financing.

[2]  Private Sector Loans - The approval of and registration with BSP of the private sector loans are required under the following circumstances:

    [a] if the  loan is guaranteed by a public sector entity such as the national government, government financial institutions, government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units or by a local commercial bank; or

    [b] if the loan is granted by an FCDU and will specifically or directly be funded from, or collaterized by, offshore loans or deposits; or

    [c] if the loan is obtained by banks and financial institutions with a term exceeding one [1] year and intended for relending to public and private enterprises.

Except for the foregoing types of loans, other categories of private sector loans are not subject to prior approval by the BSP.  Registration with BSP, however, is still required  in order to purchase foreign exchange from the banking system to service the loan.  The following may be cited:  [a]  private sector loans from FCDUs or offshore sources regardless of their maturity to be paid using foreign exchange purchased from outside of the banking system; [b]  short-term loans of public and private financial institutions incurred  in normal interbank transactions and with maturity not exceeding one [1] year; [c]  short-term loans of the private sector in the form of export advances from buyers abroad; [d]  short-term loans of  private sector borrowers from FCDUs such as those incurred: [i]  by community and service exporters [provided these loans are used to finance export-related import costs of goods and services as well as peso cost requirements]; and [ii] by  producers or manufacturers, including oil companies and public utility concerns [provided the loans are used to finance import costs of goods and services necessary in the production of goods by the borrower concerned].

It must be emphasized that proceeds from FCDU loans are not allowed to be deposited in an FCDU account if the same shall be serviced using foreign exchange purchased from the banking system.

[3]  Short-term loans of private sector exporters or importers - These loans  from participating creditor banks under the Revolving Trade Facility (RTF) Agreement are subject to the following conditions:

[a]  the loans are not covered by a guarantee from a government financial institution or corporation;
[b]  the loans shall be exclusively used to finance specific trade transactions in an amount equivalent to the import bills to be liquidated and/or in the case of export financing transactions, to the borrower's pre-export financing requirements;
[c]  proceeds of loans intended to pay for foreign exchange requirements shall be paid directly to the supplier or  creditor while amounts intended to fund pre-export peso costs shall be inwardly-remitted and sold to the banking system;
[d]  the loans shall be granted against BSP-approved short-term relending programs of foreign creditors. Creditors shall submit to the BSP their short-term relending program for Philippine borrowers indicating their proposed credit limit together with a list of prospective borrowers/beneficiaries. These relending programs shall be valid for one year but shall be subject to semi-annual review if commitments and/or utilization for the semester shall be below fifty percent [50%] of total relending limit;
[e]  drawdown and registration requirements shall be complied with;
[f]  any assignment of the loan by the creditor shall require prior BSP approval; and
[g]  the borrower shall submit to BSP the required documents at least five days after its credit line is approved by the creditor.
[4]  Priority projects -  Projects considered priority for foreign financing under the socio-economic development plan include the following:
    [a]  export-oriented projects;

    [b]  BOI-registered projects;

    [c]  those listed in the Annual Priorities Plan (APP); and

    [d]  other projects which may be declared priority by the National Economic Development Authority [NEDA] or by the Congress of the Philippines.

    The law requires that the proceeds of all loans, irrespective of maturity, shall exclusively finance foreign exchange requirements of eligible projects.  However, loans of direct and indirect exporters and public sector borrowers may be used to finance both foreign exchange costs and local costs of their projects.

SOURCE 2 - Domestic Borrowings

Foreign firms may avail of domestic loans. Except for the requirement that the banks should report the level of domestic borrowings of foreign firms to the BSP for monitoring purposes, there are no restrictions on domestic borrowings.


 

PART VIII
INVESTMENT PROPOSAL AND APPROVAL

Any investment proposal shall comply with certain requirements of the law.  More specifically, the following conditions apply:

    [2]  Acquisition - must comply with Section 40 of the Corporation Code and subject to the restrictions regarding foreign equity ownership under the 1987 Constitution.

    [3]  Real Estate/Land - the foreign equity is up to forty percent [40%] only.

    [4]  Management Contract - must comply with Section 44 of the Corporation Code.

    [5]  Joint Venture -  may be entered into without legal restriction on registration unless the parties thereto form another business organization requiring registration such as a corporation or partnership.

    [6]  Greenfield Investments - must comply with the requirements under the Corporation Code.

    [7]  Media - no foreign equity is allowed.

    [8]  Telecommunications - foreign equity is allowed up to forty percent [40%].

    [9]  Transportation - foreign equity is allowed up to forty percent [40%].

    [10]  Agriculture - there is no limitation if private land is used for this purpose.  However, foreign equity is required up to forty percent [40%] in case of public land.

    [11]  Infrastructure - allowed but subject to the provisions of the Build-Operate-Transfer [BOT] Law and Presidential Decree No. 1594.

    [12]  Mining - allowed but subject to the conditions under the Revised Mining Act of 1995.
     


 
      PART IX
    APPLICATION AND APPROVAL FORMS
The following application and approval forms are required:
[1]  For formation of a new corporation with more than forty percent [40%] foreign equity - S.E.C. Form No. F-100.chanrobles virtual law library
[2]  For establishment of a branch office of a foreign corporation - S.E.C. Form No. F-103.chanrobles virtual law library
[3]  Board of Investments [BOI] registration form.chanrobles virtual law library
[4]  Philippine Economic Zone Authority [PEZA] registration form.chanrobles virtual law library
 


PART X
PERIODS WHEN  PROCESSING
AND APPROVAL OF APPLICATION COMPLETED

The investment laws in the Philippines explicitly prescribe the following periods within which the processing and approval of foreign investment proposal and/or applications should be completed from the time of submission of all required documents:

[1]  The BOI shall approve or disapprove an application within twenty [20] working days after official acceptance thereof. If application involves less than PhP5,000,000.00 production cost and applicant is an exporter, the period is seven [7] days.  [1987 Omnibus Investment Code]

[2]   The SEC [in the case of corporation or partnership] or the BTRCP [in the case of sole proprietorship] shall act on the application within fifteen [15] days from official acceptance thereof.  [Foreign Investments Act]

[3]  The PEZA processes and evaluates an application within two [2] weeks.  Approval thereof is made during the regular monthly meeting of its Board.
 


 
PART XI
ENTRY OF NON-RESIDENT PERSONNEL
Enterprises registered under the Omnibus Investments Code [Executive Order No.  226] are permitted to employ foreign nationals in supervisory, technical, or advisory positions during its first five years from  registration. Those majority foreign-owned registered enterprises are allowed to employ foreign nationals as president, treasurer and general managers for an indefinite period of time.  In the case of Offshore Banking Units [OBUs], they are allowed to employ foreign nationals as executives in their respective units.  The same may be said for executives in area headquarters of multinational corporations.

For non-resident personnel of foreign firms, the entry visa requirements and description of the nature of the entry restriction are as follows:

a.  Special Investors Resident Visa [SIRV]  - This is issued to any alien, except nationals coming from North Korea and Cambodia and such other countries that may be classified restricted in the future, who meets the following qualifications:
1.  he/she had not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
2.  he/she had not been afflicted with any loathsome, dangerous or contiguous disease;
3. he/she had not been institutionalized for any mental disorder or disability; and
4.  he/she is willing and able to invest the amount of at least US$75,000 in the Philippines.
The special feature of this visa is the grant to the investor of the privilege to reside in the Philippines for as long as his investment exists. He shall be entitled to import his used household goods and personal effects,  tax and duty-free, as an alien coming to settle in the Philippines for the first time under Sec. 105(h) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. Moreover, the investor's spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age who join him in the Philippines may be issued the same visa.

b.   Pre-arranged Employment Visa - This is granted pursuant to Sec. 9(g) of the Philippine Immigration Law.  This is available for employment in any executive or managerial position.

c.  International Treaty Investors Visa - This is granted under Sec. 9(d) of the Philippine Immigration Law.  The required investment is at least P300,000.00. Only Germans, Japanese and Americans are parties to this treaty.


 
PART XII
RESTRICTIONS ON EMPLOYMENT
OF FOREIGN TECHNICAL OR MANAGERIAL PERSONNEL
AND ACCOMPANYING FAMILY MEMBERS
Restrictions on positions:

[1]  Registered foreign enterprises with the Board of Investments [BOI] may employ foreign nationals in supervisory, technical or advisory positions for a period not exceeding five [5] years from its registration, extendible for limited periods at the discretion of the BOI.

[2]  BOI-registered majority foreign-owned enterprises may employ foreign nationals in the positions of president, treasurer or general manager beyond the period of five [5] years.

[3]  Foreign nationals under the Corporation Code may be employed as members of the Board of Directors by way of election.

[4]  Foreign enterprises located at the Subic Bay Freeport may employ foreign nationals in any position upon prior approval of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority [SBMA] for a period of five [5] years which may be extended from year to year.

[5]  Foreign enterprises entering into government contracts and service for coal operations and exploration and development of oil and geothermal resources are allowed to employ foreign nationals in any position.

Restrictions on skills requirement:

Employment of foreign technicians in foreign enterprises in the Philippines is subject to the requirement that the skills they possess are not available in the Philippines.  If there is none available in the Philippines, a pre-arranged employment visa may be extended to the foreign technician.  Further, under the law, their employment should be accompanied by an understudy program wherein at least two [2] Filipino understudies should be trained on the skills for which they [foreign technicians] were engaged.


 

PART XIII
MINIMUM WAGES AND OTHER LABOR STANDARDS
AND LABOR RELATIONS LAW

Labor laws in the Philippines respecting wages, hours of work, overtime, night differential pay, service incentive leave, and other labor standards; strikes, picketing, termination of employment, and other labor relations rules, have all been codified.  All these may be found in the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended.

As regards minimum wages, the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, provides for the basic standards for minimum wage fixing which is done through the various Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards.  Each region has its own set of minimum wage rates and rules.

As regards labor unions, strikes and picketing, collective bargaining, voluntary modes of settling labor disputes and other labor-related rules, the Labor Code of the Philippines has provided ample safeguards to protect the interest of both labor and management.


PART XIV
TAXATION LAW
ON FOREIGN INVESTMENTS

Corporate and similar entities:

[1]  Foreign corporations engaged in business or trade in the Philippines - Their income derived from sources in the Philippines are taxed a flat rate of thirty-five percent [35%] based on net income.

[2]  Foreign corporations not engaged in business or trade in the Philippines - Their income derived from sources in the Philippines are taxed a flat rate of thirty-five percent [35%] on gross income.  Further, interest income on foreign loans earned is subject to a twenty percent [20%] tax.

[3]  Foreign international carriers - They are taxed at the rate of two-and-a-half percent [2.5%] on their gross Philippine billings.

[4]  Non-resident foreign cinematographic film owners, lessors or distributors - They are taxed at the rate of twenty-five percent [25%] on gross income.

[5]  Foreign mutual life insurance companies - They are taxed at the rate of ten percent [10%] of their gross investment income derived from sources within the Philippines.

Foreign individuals:

[1]  Individual resident foreigners - Their income:

    [a]  derived from all sources in the Philippines and in foreign countries taxed from 1-35% on gross compensation income [arising from an employer-employee relationship]; and net on non-compensation [business and other] income.

    [b]  twenty percent [20%] on royalties, prizes, winnings [final tax].

    [c]  twenty percent [20%] on interest on bank deposit, and on substitute arrangements [final tax].

    [d]  five percent [5%] capital gains tax on sale of realty [final tax].

[2]  Foreigners engaged in trade or business in the Philippines - Their income:
    [a]  derived from Philippine sources are taxed from 1-35% on gross compensation income and net on non-compensation income.

    [b]  thirty percent [30%] on royalties, interests and dividends, and others.

[3]  Foreigners not engaged in trade or business in the Philippines - Their income derived from Philippine sources are taxed a flat rate of thirty percent [30%] on gross Philippine income.


PART XV
FISCAL INCENTIVES TO FOREIGN INVESTMENTS


FISCAL INCENTIVES - Omnibus Investments Code of 1987:

  • Income tax holiday.chanrobles virtual law library
[1]  Full exemption from income tax for six (6) years for newly-registered pioneer projects from the start of commercial operations; and

[2]  Full exemption from income tax for four (4) years from the start of commercial operations for newly-registered non-pioneer projects.

These exemption periods may be extended for another year each under the following cases:

[a]  the project used indigenous raw materials;
[b]  the project meets the BOI-prescribed ratio of capital equipment to the number of workers;
[c]  the net foreign exchange savings or earnings amount to at least US$500,000 annually during the first three (3) years of the commercial operations of the project.
    Any project which is established in less developed areas [LDAs] shall be entitled to the incentive for six (6) years.

    Expansion projects of domestic-oriented industries are not entitled to the income tax holiday incentive.
     

  • Tax credit on domestic capital equipment.chanrobles virtual law library
  • [a]  Firms registered on or before December 31, 1994 shall be entitled to tax credit equivalent to one hundred percent [100%] of any taxes and duties which could have been waived had the capital equipment and accompanying spare parts been imported until December 31, 1997, provided that those firms located outside the National Capital Region [NCR] shall enjoy said tax credit until December 31, 1999.

    [b]  Firms registered after December 31, 1994 shall be entitled to tax credit on the duty portion equivalent to the difference between the three percent [3%] minimum duty and the actual duty rate provided under the Philippine Tariffs and Customs Code, as amended.
     
  • Tax and duty-free importation of capital equipment.chanrobles virtual law library
  • [a]  Firms registered on or before December 31, 1994 shall be entitled to tax and duty free importation of capital equipment and accompanying spare parts until December 31, 1997.  However, firms located outside the National Capital Region [NCR] shall be entitled to the incentive until December 31, 1999.

[b]  Firms registered after December 31, 1994 shall be subject to ten percent [10%] Value-Added Tax [VAT] upon the implementation of Republic Act No. 7716, the expanded VAT Law and three percent [3%] duty.
  • Additional deduction for labor expense.chanrobles virtual law library
  • For the first five [5] years from registration, a registered enterprise shall be allowed an additional deduction from taxable income of fifty percent [50%] of the wages corresponding to the increment in the number of the direct labor for skilled and unskilled workers if the project meets the prescribed ratio of capital equipment to the number of workers set by the Board of Investments. This additional deduction shall be doubled if the activity is located in less developed areas [LDAs].
  • Tax and duty free importation of breeding stocks and genetic materials for ten [10] years from registration or commercial operation for agricultural producers.chanrobles virtual law library
    • Tax credit on domestic breeding stocks and genetic materials.chanrobles virtual law library
    • Simplification of customs procedures for the importation of equipment, spare parts, raw materials and supplies and exports of processed products.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Unrestricted use of consigned equipment provided a re-export bond is posted.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Employment Of Foreign Nationals.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Tax credit for taxes and duties paid on raw materials, supplies and semi-manufactured products used in the manufacture of export products and forming part thereof.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Access to bonded manufacturing/trading warehouse system.  Registered export-oriented enterprises may have access to bonded warehousing systems.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Exemption from wharfage dues and any export tax, duty, impost and fees.chanrobles virtual law library
  • New enterprises registered under the 1995 Investments Priorities Plan [IPP] shall be granted a five-year period to avail of the exemption from wharfage dues and any export tax, impost and fees. Expansion and existing projects, however, are not entitled to this incentive.
  • Tax and duty exemption of imported spare parts and supplies for export producers with customs bonded warehouse exporting at least seventy percent [70%] of the production.chanrobles virtual law library

  •  


    FISCAL INCENTIVES - Special Economic Zone Act of 1995:

    • Fiscal incentives, in general.chanrobles virtual law library

    •  
        Enterprises operating within the Economic Zones [ECOZONES] are entitled to the fiscal incentives granted under Presidential Decree No. 66, [Export Processing Zone Authority Law], or those provided under Book VI of Executive Order No. 226, [Omnibus Investments Code of 1987].
  • Tax credit for exporters using local materials as inputs  in accordance with the Export Development Act of 1994.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Exemption from taxes under the National Internal Revenue Code [NIRC] but in lieu of paying taxes, five percent [5%] of the gross income earned by all businesses and enterprises within the ECOZONE shall be remitted to the national government.chanrobles virtual law library

  •  


    FISCAL INCENTIVES - Export Development Act of 1994:

  • Exemption from Presidential Decree No. 1853 on the advanced payment of customs duties.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Duty-free importation of machinery and equipment and accompanying spare parts until December 31, 1997.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Tax credit for imported inputs and raw materials primarily used for the production and packages of export goods that are not readily available locally until December 31, 1999.chanrobles virtual law library
  • Tax credit for increase in current year's export revenues.chanrobles virtual law library
  • First five percent [5%] increase in annual export revenue over the previous year a credit of 2.5% shall be granted to be applied on incremental export revenue converted to pesos.
  • Next five percent [5%[ increase shall be entitled to a credit of 5%.
  • Next five percent [5%] increase shall be entitled to a credit of 7.5%.
  • In excess of fifteen percent [15%] shall be entitled to a credit of 10%.
  • Tax credit for the use or import-substitution of non-traditional products.chanrobles virtual law library
    • Tax credit equivalent to twenty-five percent [25%] of duties until December 31, 1997.
  • Claims For Tax Credits.chanrobles virtual law library
    1. Imported inputs, raw materials and capital equipment.
    1. Increase in current year's export revenues.
    1. Import-substitution.


     


    FISCAL INCENTIVES - Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992:

    • Exempted from any and all Philippine national and local taxes.  In lieu, however, of paying taxes, a final tax of five percent [5%] of gross income earned is imposed.chanrobles virtual law library

    PART XVI
    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
    PROTECTION

    Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines:

    In order to strengthen protection to intellectual property rights, Republic Act No. 8293 [otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines]  was approved on June 6, 1997 and took effect on January 1, 1998. This is the codification of all laws on intellectual property rights in the Philippines.  It  repealed and superseded the Philippine Law on Patents [R. A. No. 165], the Law on Trademarks [R. A. No. 166],  Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code and the Law on Copyright [Presidential Decree No. 49] including Presidential Decree No. 285, as amended. [See Overview on the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines in a related page].

    Related Laws and Issuances:

    The following are some related laws and executive issuances:

    • Presidential Decree No. 1987 [Decree Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board] ·
    • Executive Order No. 60 issued on February 26, 1993, creating the Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on Intellectual Property Rights.  Several member-agencies of this Committee have created special task forces on IPR such as: the Department of Trade and Industry [DTI], Department of Justice [DOJ], National Bureau of Investigation [NBI], Bureau of Customs [BOC] and the Philippine National Police [PNP].
    • Executive Order No. 913 [Strengthening the Rule-Making and Adjudicatory Powers of the Minister of Trade and Industry in order to further protect consumers].
    Treaties on Intellectual Property Rights [Philippines is a signatory]:

    The Republic of the Philippines is a signatory to several international treaties on intellectual property rights, to wit:

    • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization [since 1980]
    • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property [since 1965]
    • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for Purposes of Patent Procedure [since 1981]
    • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works [since 1984]
    • International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonographs and Broadcasting Organizations [since 1984]
    • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights [TRIPS Agreement]

    PART XVII
    INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS
    [PHILIPPINES, A PARTY-SIGNATORY]

    The following is a rundown of international agreements [in force and in effect] to which the Philippines is a party-signatory, which are of commercial or economic nature and significance:

    •  Friendship Commerce and Navigation Treaty:
      1. "The Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation between the Republic of the Philippines and Japan" where they express their intent to maintain and strengthen amicable relations existing between them on a mutually advantageous basis.
    • Bilateral Investment Treaties:
      1. Philippines and Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
      2. Philippines and Kingdom of Netherlands
      3. Philippines and Republic of Italy
      4. Philippines and Socialist Republic of Vietnam
      5. Philippines and Chinese Taipei
      6. Philippines and People's Republic of China
      7. Philippines and Kingdom of Spain
      8. Philippines and Romania
      9. Philippines and Republic of Korea
      10. Philippines and France
      11. Philippines and Australia
      12. Philippines and Czech
      13. Philippines and Thailand
      14. Philippines and Iran
      15. Philippines and Canada
      16. Philippines and Chile
      17. Philippines and Switzerland
      18. Philippines and Germany
      19. The ASEAN Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments
      All the foregoing treaties commonly embody the following basic tenets:
      [1]  Promotion of investments in either economy by investors of the other economy through the creation of favorable conditions of investments to foster their respective economic developments.

      [2]  Provision on Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) Treatment arrangement where respective investors are accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to investors of any third State.

      [3]  Provision on expropriation which ordains that if any investors of either economy suffer losses in the other economy by reason of national emergency, revolution, revolt or similar events, the host economy shall accord treatment to that economy no less favorable than that it accords to investments of any third State.

      [4]   Provision on transfer of investments which guarantees the free transfer of investments and returns held in the territory of one contracting economy to the other economy.

      [5] Provision on subrogation of rights.
       


    PART XVIII
    DISPUTES SETTLEMENT

    Government vs. Government:

    As a member of the WTO, the Philippines adheres to the procedures for dispute settlement prescribed by WTO.  Consequently, it considers these procedures as being applicable to any case or controversy falling within WTO's jurisdiction.

    Private Party/ies vs. Government:

    The Philippines adheres to the dispute settlement procedures prescribed under the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States [ICSID] as well as the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards [New York Convention], being a signatory thereof.

    Private Party/ies vs. Private Party/ies:

    The basic legal framework applicable in the resolution of conflicts and disputes between private parties are as follows:

    • Executive Order No. 1008 - provides for the creation of an Arbitration Machinery in the Construction Industry of the Philippines.
    • Republic Act No. 876 - provides for arbitration and submission agreements, appointment of arbitrators and the procedure for arbitration in civil controversies.
    • Republic Act No. 6715 - promotes voluntary arbitration in labor relations disputes.

     

    PART XIX
    GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
    CONCERNED WITH FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
    The following agencies of the Philippine government are involved in processing and approval of foreign investments:
      [a]  Board of Investments [BOI] 
      Industry and Investment Building
      385 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue
      Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 895-5602;895-8370
      Fax: (632) 895-3521
      [b]  One Stop Action Center [OSAC]
      Board of Investments [See above physical address]
      Telephone: (632) 896-7884; 895-7342
      or 896-7342
      [c]  Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]
      SEC Building E. de los Santos Ave.
      Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 780-931
      Fax: (632) 793-072
      [d]  Philippine Economic Zone Authority [PEZA]
      4th Floor, Legaspi Towers 300 corner
      Vito Cruz St. and Roxas Blvd., Manila
      Telephone: (632) 521-0546
      Fax: (632) 521-0419
       
      [e]  Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority [SBMA]
      Subic Freeport, Subic, Olongapo City
        Law/s enforced and implemented: Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 [Republic Act No. 7227]
      [f]  Bases Conversion Development Authority [BCDA]
      2nd Floor, Rufino Building
      Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 813-5380
      Fax: (632) 813-5425
        Law/s enforced and implemented: Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 [Republic Act No. 7227]
      [g]  Bureau of Internal Revenue [BIR]
      Atrium Building
      Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 811-4448
      Fax: (632) 811-4390
      [h]  Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [BSP]
      A. Mabini Street, Ermita
      Manila
      Telephone: (632) 815-1729
        Law/s enforced and implemented: Revised Central Bank Act, as amended
      [i]  Social Security System [SSS]
      SSS Bldg., East Avenue, Diliman
      Quezon City
      Telephone: (632) 920-6401
    B

     

      PART XX
      ONE-STOP ACTION CENTERS
    In the Philippines, there are several One-Stop Action Centers which houses in one place representatives from all the government agencies with which a foreign investor will deal and submit his application and pertinent documents.  Under this concept, processing of applications is made within twenty (20) days.  Its special feature is when no action is made on the application within said period, it is deemed automatically approved after the lapse of said period.

    The following One-Stop Action Centers are now in full operation:

      [1]  One-Stop Action Center [OSAC]
      Board of Investments
      Industry and Investment Bldg.
      385 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue,
      Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 895-5602; 895-8370
      or 895-3521

      [2]  One-Stop Export Documentation Center
      International Trade Center Complex
      Roxas Blvd. cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.,
      Pasay City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 834-1344 to 49 Local 125

      [3]  One-Stop Import Processing Center
      Bureau of Import Services (BIS)
      349 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.,
      Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 818-9111

      [4]  One-Stop Action Garments Export Assistance Center
      Garments and Textile Export Board (GTEB)
      357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., New Solid Bldg.,
      Makati City, Metro Manila
      Telephone: (632) 817-4323

      [5] One-Stop Shop Tax Credit Center
      Department of Finance (DOF)
      Roxas Blvd., Multi-Purpose Bldg., Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
      Telephone: (632) 526-2293
       


     
      PART XXI
      ECONOMIC ZONES
    The Philippines has a total number of eighty [80] economic zones (ECOZONES).  Out of this number, a total of 29 has been proclaimed and 51 has been an expansion.  Below is the list of the ECOZONES and their respective locations and total areas.

    GOVERNMENT ECOZONES
    LOCATION
    TOTAL AREA [hectares]
    Bataan Ecozone
    Marivelez, Bataan
    1,600
    Bagui City Ecozone
    Loakan Road, Baguio City
    113.7
    Mactan Ecozone
    Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan, Cebu
    160
    Cavite Ecozone
    Rosario, Cavite
    275.8

     

    PRIVATE ECOZONES [LUZON]
    LOCATION
    TOTAL AREA [hectares]
    PRIVATE ECOZONES [LUZON]
    LOCATION
    TOTAL AREA [hectares]
    Abra Agro-Industrial Center
    Tayum, Abra
    35
    Light Industry & Science Park I
    Cabuyao, Laguna
    67
    Angeles Industrial Park
    Angeles, Pampanga
    32
    Light Industry & Science Park II
    Calamba, Laguna
    63.7
    Best World Industrial Park
    Batas, Silang, Cavite
    145
    Light Industry & Science Park III
    Sto. Tomas, Batangas
    133
    Bicol Industrial Park
    San Jose, Camarines Sur
    100
    LIIP Calamba Industrial Community/Calamba Premier
    Calamba, Laguna
    65.6
    Cambridge Intelligent Park
    Dasmarinas, Cavite
    86
    Lima Technology Center
    Lipa City & Malvar, Batangas City
    280
    Carmelray Industrial Park
    Canlubang, Laguna
    46
    Luisita Industrial Park I
    San Miguel, Tarlac
    29.4
    Carmelray Industrial Park
    Calamba, Laguna
    145
    Luisita Industrial Park II
    San Miguel, Tarlac
    300
    Cocochem Agro-Industrial Park
    Bauan, Batangas
    42
    Pagbilao Industrial & Science Park
    Pagbilao, Quezon
    198
    Daiichi Industrial Park
    Silang, Cavite
    55
    Palayan City Agro-Industrial Center
    Palayan City, Nueva Ecija
    149
    Eastern Pangasinan Agro-Industrial Park
    Sta. Maria, Pangasinan
    57
    Pangasinan Industrial Park
    Mabini, Pangasinan
    97
    Fil-Estate Industrial Park
    Trece Martirez & Tanza, Cavite
    266.9
    PEC Industrial Park
    Gen. Trias, Cavite
    177
    Filinvest Industrial Park-Cavite
    Trece Martirez & Tanza, Cavite
    86
    Phil. International Air Terminals
    Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
    63.5
    Filinvest [Calamba] SEZ
    Calamba, Laguna
    250
    Plastic City Special Ecozone
    Marivelez, Bataan
    26.6
    Filoil Special Economic Zone 
    Rosario, Cavite
    50.3
    PNOC Petrochemical Complex
    Limay, Bataan
    150
    First Cavite Industrial Park
    Dasmarinas, Cavite
    53.7
    Prince Cabuyao SEZ
    Cabuyao, Laguna
    25.447
    First Batangas Industrial Park
    Manghinao, Batangas
    54
    Puerto Princesa Environmental Estate
    Puerto Princesa, Palawan
    1,072
    First Philippine Industrial Park
    Sto. Tomas, Batangas
    75
    Rancho Montana Ecozone
    Tanauan, Batangas
    900
    First Philippine Industrial Park II
    Tanauan, Batangas
    61.97
    Rizal Industrial Estate
    Tanay, Rizal
    326
    Gateway Business Park [Expansion]
    Gen. Trias, Cavite
    89.2
    RLC Special Economic Zone
    Simlong, Batangas City
    95
    Gateway Business Park [Expansion II]
    Gen. Trias, Cavite
    18.7
    Southwoods Ecocentrum Tourism Estate
    Binan, Laguna
    76
    Gateway Business Park [Expansion III]
    Gen. Trias, Cavite
    0.6
    Smokey Mountain Devt. & Reclamation Project
    Tondo, Manila
    400
    Hermosa Ecozone 
    Hermosa, Bataan
    600
    Sta. Rita Industrial Park
    Pili, Camarines Sur
    219
    Laguna International Industrial Park
    Binan, Laguna
    32
    Subic Shipyard Special Zone
    Subic, Olongapo City
    52
    Laguna Technopark I
    Sta. Rosa, Laguna
    71
    Subic Shipyard Special Zone II
    Subic, Olongapo City
    19
    Laguna Technopark II
    Sta. Rosa, Laguna
    68
    Tabangao Special Economic Zone
    Tabangao, Batangas City
    86
    Laguna Technopark III
    Binan, Laguna
    89
    Taipan Gold Industrial Park
    Gen. Trias, Cavite
    100
    Legaspi City SEZ
    Caridad, Banquerohan
    33.1
    Toyota Sta. Rosa Special Zone
    ---------------
    Victoria Wave Special Zone
    Sta. Rosa, Laguna
    ---------------
    Tala, Caloocan City
    25
    -----
    50
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    PRIVATE ECOZONES [VISAYAS]
    LOCATION
    TOTAL AREA [hectares]
    PRIVATE ECOZONES [MINDANAO]
    LOCATION
    TOTAL AREA [hectares]
    Amihan Woodlands Township
    San Isidro & Calubian, Leyte
    2,300
    Ayala de Zamboanga Industrial Park
    Zamboanga City
    50
    Cebu Light Industrial Park Ecozone
    Mactan, Cebu
    63
    Filinvest [General Santos City] SEZ
    General Santos City, Soutch Cotabato
    80
    Cebu South Reclamation Project 
    Talisay, Cebu
    330
    First Oriental Business & Industrial Park
    Ilang, Davao Oriental
    57.3
    Guimaras Special Economic Zone
    Guimaras, Iloilo 
    216.49
    Maguindanao Ecocity SEZ
    Parang, Maguidanao
    351.76
    Leganes Industrial Growth Center
    Leganes, Iloilo
    177.58
    Nasipit Agusan del Norte Industrial Estate
    Nasipit, Agusan del Norte
    296
    Leyte Industrial Development Estate
    Isabel, Leyte
    424.7
    NSC SEZ
    Iligan City
    274
    Mactan Ecozone II
    Mactan, Cebu
    63.3
    Philnico Industrial Estate SEZ
    Nonoc Island, Northeastern Mindanao
    100
    New Cebu Township
    Naga, Cebu
    36.6
    Samal Casino Resort
    Tucanga, Katipunan, Davao del Norte
    215
    Pavia Special Economic Zone
    Pavia, Iloilo
    50
    Tubay Agri-Processing Center
    Tubay, Agusan del Norte
    196
    Tacloban Industrial Estate
    Tacloban City
    44
    West Cebu Industrial Park
    Balamban, Cebu
    245
     

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