Manila Grants Tax Perks to Lure Businesses Back to Philippine Capital

Bloomberg

The Philippine capital is granting tax perks as it seeks to restore the historic city to its glory, Mayor Francisco Domagoso said in his speech before businessmen.

Companies that build along Escolta Street in the country’s old business district will be exempted from business and real property taxes for 15 years, Domagoso said in a speech at the Management Association of the Philippines event Tuesday.

Domagoso, a former actor who also goes by the name Isko Moreno, is offering a tax amnesty program until December and cutting incremental real property taxes by 20% starting 2020 to boost revenue and lure businesses. He also opened a one-stop shop in city hall to process business permits in a day.

Manila City is trying to lure back investors even as President Rodrigo Duterte’s government is seeking to grant incentives to industries outside the capital region, which includes Manila.

Domagoso, who beat ex-President Joseph Estrada in the 2019 elections, has met with tycoons and diplomats at the start of his three-year term to win their confidence and secure investments for Manila.

The city was the Philippines’ center of commerce since the Spanish occupation more than 400 years ago until it was heavily bombed during the Second World War and later eclipsed by new business districts like Makati and Ortigas.

The mayor said he’s focusing on “simple” changes to transform the capital city, including clearing roads, lighting up streets and refurbishing parks.

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