THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has warned that raising taxes and imposing new taxes will only dampen business sentiment and eventually lead to loss of jobs.
In a position paper signed by CCCI president Felix Taguiam dated June 14, 2021, and addressed to the Cebu Provincial Board, the chamber said the proposed increase in the rate of the tax and fees collected by the Province and the proposed imposition of tax on activities not previously taxed will dampen or discourage investment, which will have a ripple effect on employment and income levels.
CCCI argued that the proposed amendments to the Revenue Code of the Province of Cebu will increase the unemployment rate in the Province, which is at 7.1 percent as of January 2021.
The chamber added that ultimately, such an increase will affect the country’s unemployment rate, which is already currently at its highest at 8.7 percent for the year, based on the April 2021 Labor Force Survey.
First, the chamber expressed concern over the proposed Section 124 on the imposition of tax on ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth and other quarry resources not only for those extracted on public lands, but also those processed within the territorial jurisdiction of the province.
In a summary of incremental costs, CCCI said Section 124 imposes an additional 10 percent of the local fair market value of the extracted ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth and other quarry resources from public lands as well as those processed within the territorial jurisdiction of the province.
“It will certainly increase the cost of construction and housing materials, as the tax is imposed on basic raw materials of cement and aggregates of concrete, which will negatively impact businesses in the province,” the chamber said.
Second, the proposed Section 125 on the imposition of a monitoring fee of 10 percent of the local fair market value per cubic meter on ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth and oster quarry resources extracted on private lands, as well as non-metallic commodities on all lands, instead of a fixed fee, the CCCI said, will have an adverse effect on the economic growth of the local government unit, in particular, and of the nation, in general, and is contrary to the economic policy of the government.
Lastly, Section 220 imposes again a fee of P12 and P25, based on the volume of extraction in cubic meters for ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth and outer quarry resources and in metric tons for non-metallic minerals, respectively.
“It is the position of the CCCI that the way to go is not to increase taxes and fees at this time but to support businesses in their recovery from the global pandemic and allow inclusive growth and generation of jobs and opportunities consistent with the economic policy of the current administration,” a portion of the position paper stated.
“What is a good message to businesses and what encourages them to make more investments and consequently pay more taxes is the implementation of the ‘ease of doing business,’ which is also a program of the current administration,” it added. (JOB)