In a press briefing yesterday, PEZA director general Charito Plaza said the agency would adjust the running time of the ITH for locators in Calabarzon whose operations have been affected by the volcano’s eruption and ashfall.
STAR/ File
PEZA extends ITH for firms hit by Taal
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Locators in ecozones in the Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) area currently enjoying income tax holidays would be allowed to extend the period of their ITH commensurate to the number of days their operations are affected by the Taal Volcano eruption, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said.

In a press briefing yesterday, PEZA director general Charito Plaza said the agency would adjust the running time of the ITH for locators in Calabarzon whose operations have been affected by the volcano’s eruption and ashfall.

“In other words, the ITH period would be extended,” she said, noting the extension period would be based on the number of days operations were affected.

PEZA-registered firms can enjoy ITH for four to eight years, depending on the product being manufactured.

For the ITH period to be extended, PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga said the locator would have to make a request with the agency.

“They can now request, make a case with PEZA to suspend the running of their ITH period until they are able to recover the lost days. They can still make up for it by way of prospective application of availment of their ITH,” he said.

Plaza said there is no serious damage to structures, but power transmissions covered by ashfall affected the locators’ power supply.

While most of the ecozones in Calabarzon were already operational as of Thursday, Laguna Technopark Inc., Light Industry and Science Park III and Lima Technology Center are not yet at 100 percent due to power interruptions and inability of some workers to go back as they are currently in evacuation centers.

Calabarzon has 60 registered ecozones and hosts 1,962 locators which employ 523,898 individuals and export goods worth $20.663 billion.

Apart from extending the ITH period, Plaza said PEZA would also allow tax and duty-free importation of face masks for Calabarzon locators.

Even as most ecozone developers and locators already have their own emergency plans in place, Plaza said PEZA would be setting up an incident command system for a more coordinated response in the event there would be another calamity.

“Our locators will simply look at the incident command system and center of PEZA. So, we will be the ones to give directions and accurate data, accurate information on what they’re going to do,” she said.

She said PEZA would also make it compulsory for ecozone developer applicants to get a geo hazard clearance on top of the environmental compliance certificate.

“Because of this experience, we will really require now ecozone developer applicants to get a geo-hazard clearance that the location of their ecozones are away from the danger zones or the disaster zone areas,” she said.

She said PEZA is set to meet with ecozone developers and industry associations on Monday to discuss and finalize other forms of assistance and support the agency could provide.

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