Displaying items by tag: Business

People are 'secret sauce' to growing BPO sector – Santos Knight Frank

The young and English speaking population of the Philippine is the "key" to attracting more business process outsourcing (BPO) firms into the country even if the proposal to remove the value-added tax (VAT) exemption pushes through, according to real estate consultancy firm Santos Knight Frank.

House Bill 5636 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion passed on second and third reading at the House of Representatives late Wednesday. The bill seeks to lower income tax rates but at the same time removing VAT exemptions of various sectors and adjusting excise taxes on fuel and automobile as compensating measures.

Asked how removing the tax incentive of BPO firms would affect the Philippines as an investment destination, Santos Knight Frank Chairman and CEO Rick Santos said there are more important things that make the country attractive to investors.

"I think the demographics are key. The Philippines has the people which are the secret sauce to the growth of BPOs," he said.

If the measure makes it through the Senate and is enacted to law, a 12 would be imposed on the gross receipts of BPO companies.

"It really comes down to skills, the English, the age of the workforce ... Those are the imperatives for the BPO firms," Santos said.

However, removing the tax incentives of BPO firms must be studied deliberately and how it would impact on the sector.

"Because I think the incentives are great drivers for growth in that sector. I think that is an important to their expansion agenda," he said.

"Our view? The BPO industry is the biggest private sector employer today, with 1.5 million direct and 3.7 million indirect employees. The sector also contributed 8 percent to GDP (gross domestic product), with export revenues close to $25 billion," he added.

Santos noted a continuous dialogue between the sector and the government must be encouraged to come up with a "win-win" environment.

"We see fiscal incentives are important to encouraging the growth of BPO investments in the country," he added. — VDS, GMA News

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San Miguel to put up $150-M brewery in the US

San Miguel Brewery Inc., the liquor unit of San Miguel Corp., on Wednesday confirmed plans to put up a brewery in Los Angeles, California in efforts to increase the company's production capacity.

In a filing on the local bourse, San Miguel confirmed earlier statements of its President Ramon S. Ang that the company will build a $150-million brewery in the United States, as well as two additional breweries in Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo City.

Each brewery will have a "capacity of 2 million hectoliters each, and expand the production capacity of all existing plants," the filing read.

According to Ang, it will spend as much as $500 million over the next two and a half years for the expansion.

The new breweries will be on top of the six located in the country — Pampanga, Metro Manila, Laguna, Negros Occidental, Cebu, and Davao.

This will also serve as an addition to the company's six international breweries — two in China, and one each in Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

San Miguel Brewery Inc. registered a net income of P4.5 billion in the first quarter of the year, up 12 percent from the P4 billion the same period in 2016. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/MDM, GMA News

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Makati first to launch smart card for residents

By Emmie V. Abadilla/Manila Bulletin

Makati expects to be the Philippines’ First Truly Connected City after yesterday’s launch of the Makatizen Card that gives its 500,000 residents access to the city government’s services.

The card, which also functions as a valid government ID card and an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card, can be used to transact with the city government,  receive cash allowances, stipends and other cash benefits.

Residents can also use the card to pay fees and taxes, personal remittances and other financial transactions while city government employees, can use theirs to receive salaries and allowances.

The Makatizen Card is a collaboration among the city government of Makati, Globe Telecom, its subsidiary G-XChange, Inc., and iBayad Online Ventures, Inc.

Some 1,000 functioning sample cards were yesterday tested at Makati City Hall.

“It takes us a step nearer to achieving our goal of empowering everyone, including those in the marginalized sectors of society, to enjoy a better quality of life,” says Makati Mayor Abigail Binay.

Furthermore, the card’s wide range of digital and mobile services offers the people of Makati  more convenient and cost-effective ways of meeting their day-to-day needs and obligations,” she added.

“We view this unsolicited project proposal from Globe, GCash, and iBayad as the springboard to transform Makati into the country’s first digital city.”

“For the Philippines to truly become a digital nation, we need to take advantage of new digital  opportunities and innovations to enable growth in every corner of our country,” according to Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu.

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