The Philippine Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) resolved to allow Information Technology and Business Processing Management or Business Processing Outsourcing (IT-BPM/BPO) firms in economic zones to adopt up to 100% work-from-home (WFH) arrangement and still enjoy tax incentives.
As agreed at the FIRB meeting on September 14, IT-BPM/BPO firms can become eligible for increased WFH setup by shifting their registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the Board of Investments (BOI).
“The procedure for transfer of registration from PEZA to BOI will be seamless – to be carried out expeditiously,” Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual said in a statement. He is co-chair of FIRB and chair of both PEZA and BOI. Secretary Pascual added that the up to 100% WFH scheme would also be available to IT-BPM/BPO firms that will be registered for tax incentives in the future.
The agreed arrangement was one of the options presented by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the FIRB, which is chaired by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
In recognition of the IT-BPM/BPO sector’s contributions to generating jobs and foreign exchange revenues for the country, Secretary Pascual said, “From the beginning, our priority has been to secure a solution for the sector’s WFH setup, which has become the new normal post-pandemic.”
Registered firms must signify with PEZA their intention to shift registration to the BOI. PEZA will then endorse the request to the BOI for the issuance of a Certificate of Registration, which will indicate the remaining incentives. PEZA shall administer the incentives and continue monitoring the transferee firms’ compliance.
IT-BPM Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Jack Madrid hailed the decision of the FIRB. “IBPAP enthusiastically welcomes this FIRB resolution and thanks DTI for advocating the WFH scheme as a new business reality, and the FIRB for approving the recommendation. The association and its members vow to work even more closely with the government in bring-in more BPO investments, particularly in the higher value-added segments,” Mr. Madrid said.