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‘Green Jobs’ now a law

Marichu A. Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has signed into law the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016 granting special tax deductions and duty-free importation of capital equipment for companies that will help create a “green economy” for the country.

Aquino signed Republic Act (RA)10771 on April 29, or 63 days before he steps down from office.

“Green jobs,” as defined in RA 10771, refers to employment that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in the agriculture, industry or services sector.

“Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy, materials and water consumption through high efficiency strategies, decarbonizes the economy and minimizes or altogether avoids generation of all forms of waste and pollution,” RA 10771 stated.

“Green jobs are decent jobs that are productive, respect the rights of workers, deliver fair income, provide security in the workplace and social protection for families and promote social dialogue,” it added.

To encourage business enterprises and generate and sustain “green jobs,” as certified by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Section 5 of the newly signed law provides these incentives:

• Special deduction from the taxable income equivalent to 50% of the total expenses for skills training and research development expenses, which is over and above the allowable ordinary and necessary business deductions for said expenses under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 as amended;

• Tax and duty-free importation of capital equipment, provided that the capital equipment is actually, directly and exclusively used in the promotion of “green jobs” of the business enterprise.

Malacañang said incentives that would be granted under RA 10771 will be in addition to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives already granted or provided for under existing laws, orders, issuances and regulations of the government.

RA 10771 also clarified that nothing in it will be interpreted or construed to diminish or limit in whatever manner the incentives granted under the following existing laws: RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, RA 10068 or the “Organic Agriculture Act of 2010,” RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, RA 9513 or the Biofuels Act of 2006;

RA 9275  or the Philippine Clean Water Act, RA9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, RA 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, and RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

The newly signed law also mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to coordinate with other government agencies to formulate a National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan.

Likewise, RA 10771 includes the DOLE secretary as additional member of the CCC, chaired by the President.

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