4 Puerto firms get tax perks from city government

The city government of Puerto Princesa grants to Astoria Palawan along with three other business establishments within the newly designated Tourism Mile section of Rizal Avenue the certificates of holiday tax incentive.

Four establishments in Puerto Princesa City were given tax incentive packages Friday by Mayor Lucilo Bayron, showcasing them as “model businesses” to attract more investments.

Astoria Palawan in Barangay San Rafael, and Chika-an, Sheridan Boutique Hotel, and Stellar Grounds located in the “Tourism Mile” area in Barangay Bancao-Bancao were each awarded by the city government 100 percent business and real property tax exemption for a period of five years.

“Iyong real property tax nila at saka business tax nila free, [for] five years na may scheme na susundin,” Bayron said during the awarding ceremonies in Astoria Palawan.

Astoria Palawan was awarded the tax incentive under City Ordinance 461 while the other three under City Ordinance No. 919 — all approved by the City Council under Section 22 of the Puerto Princesa City Investment Code of 2010.

Bayron said the city’s move is aimed at encouraging more investors to put up business establishments in the city, especially along the Tourism Mile section at the stretch of Rizal Avenue from the Provincial Capitol to the old airport terminal in Bancao-Bancao.

“Iyong pag-provide ng incentive, ang purpose niya [ay] para ma-encourage ‘yong mga businesses na mag-invest na ngayon, hindi bukas, ngayon na. Kinikilala natin ‘yong trust and confidence nila sa economy ng Puerto Princesa, kasi ‘yong mga investors, nag-i-invest ‘yan with the hope na kikita sila, na magkakaroon sila ng profit. Ngayon, kung wala silang tiwala hindi sila mag-i-invest dahil hindi sila kikita. So, meron silang nakikita, nafo-foresee nila na lalakas ‘yong ekonomiya ng Puerto Princesa,” Bayron said.

Lorraine Banzuelo, Local Economic and Investment Promotions Office (LEIPO) head, told Palawan News the incentive package for the three establishments will be carried out five years through a graduated manner.

She said Astoria Palawan, which is classified as “large enterprise” having invested P100 million and above, shall get its 100 percent tax exemption for two consecutive years through a graduated scheme for two following years.

“So, first year [ay] 100 percent, second year 100 percent [pa rin], third year 75, and fourth year [ay] 50 percent [tax exemption],” Banzuelo pointed out.

Jocelyn Suarez, general manager of Astoria Palawan, said they appreciate the ordinance implemented by the city government.

She said this inspired them more to think about their future business expansions.

“It encouraged us to build more, kasi four years [tax holiday] sayang din ‘yon. It’s a big help. For me maganda na they came up with this ordinance kasi as what mayor said, it entices the investor to invest more… soon we will expand hopefully sa El Nido, Coron, Siargao,” she said.

Suarez also said most of their employees are from Palawan, specifically Puerto Princesa.

Meanwhile, Banzuelo is optimistic that the tax incentives granted by the city government to businesses will help generate more employment to the locals.

“Ang win-win situation namin dito ay ‘yong employment opportunity para sa mga taga-Puerto Princesa. Kasi ang isa sa mga requirements namin dito [is] 80 percent of their employment generation is from Puerto Princesa, chine-check din namin ‘yon,” he said.

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