Boracay aid proposed

Two kids frolic in the sand a day before the reopening of Boracay last Thursday. AFP

Relief is sought for businesses and residents of Boracay following the carrying capacity protocol implemented by the national government if a bill by a partylist lawmaker granting tax relief for enterprises and cash grants for locals becomes a law.

1-CARE Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta’s House Bill 8537 or the Boracay Cleanup Shutdown Assistance and Ecological Sustainability Act which will give corporations, proprietorships, partnerships and cooperatives based, physically-located in Boracay a
“one-time allowable extraordinary operating loss deduction equivalent to 50 percent of audited losses incurred in taxable year 2018.”

He cited the Department of Natural Resources’ (DENR) data showing Boracay has a “carrying capacity of 19,000 tourists per day or about 55,000 people including residents, workers and tourists.”

“With all these limitations, the financial health of Boracay businesses, employees and residents will certainly be troubled this year and in 2019. Giving them urgent tax relief will ease the pain they are suffering,” Uybarreta said.

Uybaretta added the proposal will also provide cash grants to resident households in the island and the Municipalities of Malay and Caticlan in Aklan.

Under this, the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be tasked to extend a special monthly cash grant amounting to P700 for every household member of families enrolled in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

There will be P500 assistance for every household member of families not enrolled in the 4Ps but whose incomes are derived purely from monthly compensation of less than P20,000.

Funding for the Pantawid cash grants will come from President’s Social Fund, one percent of the lotto income of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and from the taxes collected by the national government from the implementation of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

The bill also seeks to create a Boracay Ecological Sustainability Fund to be jointly administered by a Council made up of the Secretary of Tourism, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the chief executives of the barangays of the Boracay Island and the municipalities of Malay and Caticlan of the Province of Aklan and representatives of the local business and civil society sectors.

The fund collected shall partially finance Boracay-Malay-Caticlan Sustainability Master Plan formulated and approved by the Fund Council.

These funds will be collected from the Boracay Sustainability Fee of P20 to be paid by every passenger of airlines and passenger ships travelling to and from Boracay, Caticlan, or Malay.

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