MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) reported that the Philippines and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance economic partnership, which includes plans to expand Japanese investments in the country.
During a recent courtesy call on Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, newly designated Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said that Japanese companies are exploring ways of realigning their supply chains to other countries like the Philippines.
Koshikawa said the approval by the Senate of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill was welcomed by Japanese investors doing business in the Philippines.
The measure aims to lower the corporate income tax (CIT) for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with a net taxable income of P5 million and below to 20 percent, while other companies, including foreign firms, will pay a harmonized rate of 25 percent.
The current CIT, which is the region’s highest, is 30 percent.
Dominguez, for his part, said that aside from the CIT rate cut, CREATE will also allow the government to tailor fit incentives given to businesses so as to attract the kind of investors that it wants to invest in the Philippines.
The Finance chief also told the ambassador that the Philippines’ competitive edge in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) is its young working population, which complements Japan’s highly skilled labor force and makes the two countries ideal “demographic partners.”
During the meeting, Koshikawa also restated Japan’s continuing support for the Philippine government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, as well as its disaster risk reduction and mitigation programs.
Citing the signing in September between the two countries of the 50-billion yen Post-Disaster Standby Loan (PDSL) Phase 2, the Ambassador reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to continue assisting the Philippines in its disaster risk reduction and mitigation programs.
Since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016, 15 loan agreements totaling JPY679.296 billion (about P313.147 billion or US$6.443 billion) have been signed by Manila with Tokyo.
Before beginning his tour of duty in Manila, Ambassador Koshikawa was a senior official at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and had served as Japan’s Ambassador to Spain and Angola.
The advisory emphasized the inclusion of eligible Filipino travelers under the “Phased Measures toward Resuming Cross-Border Travel”, a special quota on the entry into and departure from Japan, which covers technical intern trainees and specified skilled workers.
“Applicants may directly visit the embassy for own visa application while students and technical intern trainees whose sending/accepting organization is same can apply through a representative with authorization letters from every applicant,” the POEA noted.
POEA advised applicants that the Embassy may request for additional requirements, if necessary, and it may deny visa acceptance for incomplete requirements.
The Embassy reminded that accepting time for visa application starts at 8:40am to 11:00am, every Mondays to Fridays except on Embassy holidays, the POEA stressed.
“The embassy does not accept applications after the said accepting time,” it added.
Prior to visiting the Embassy, applicants are also advised to first contact its hotlines through the numbers 02-8834-7514 and 02-8834-7508 as the embassy is strictly implementing appointment schedule and social distancing measures as preventive measures against COVID-19.
MANILA, Philippines – The clinical trials on anti-flu drug Avigan in the country may finally begin next week, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the process for the clinical trial is currently being finalized, adding that the proponent of the research has been given go signal to recruit study participants.
Vergeire said a minor issue on the insurance documents just needed to be fixed before they could begin the trial.
“Merong minor comment ang legal service namin for this insurance document. Iyon na lang but we already gave the go signal to the proponents,” she said.
“Kapag nakapag-recruit na tayo, hopefuly by next week talagang officially starting na tayo,” she added.
The clinical trial, which aims to look into the possible benefits of the Japan-made drug to coronavirus disease patients, will last for nine months. Four hospitals will participate in the trial.
It was supposed to start in August but was delayed due to some issues in legal arrangements.
Avigan tablets were delivered in early August by the Japanese government for the use of 100 patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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