Dominguez urges firms to spend big on innovation


Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III emphasized the necessity for Philippine enterprises to invest substantially in digitization and innovation, in order to remain competitive as the world rapidly transitions to a new post coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic global economy characterized by sudden and disruptive technological developments.


At a Department of Science and Technology’ (DoST) inauguration of its Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen), Dominguez said that the country as a whole must evolve and capitalize on these rapidly changing technological advancements in order to better respond and adapt to the demands and challenges of the new global economy.


“Technological innovations will build new industries and create many employment and investment opportunities. These will allow us to bounce back stronger from the pandemic and help ensure the long-term recovery of our economy,” he said in a pre-recorded keynote speech at the DoST event.


The AMCen, which seeks to be the Philippines’ technology hub and research center for additive manufacturing, will help the country’s manufacturing sector adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to Dominguez (FIRe).


The AMCen is the Philippines’ first 3D printing research and development (R&D) institution, which is a DoST initiative led by Secretary Fortunato dela Pea.


“Again, let me congratulate the Department of Science and Technology for making this Advanced Manufacturing Center a reality. I expect the inauguration of more forward-looking projects to bring the Philippines closer to our goal of becoming a major player in the digital economy,” Dominguez said.


He went on to say that the new Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) law will help the country’s innovation and research and development culture by providing investors with not only a lower corporate income tax rate (CIT) but also attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, such as a 100 percent additional deduction on R&D expenses.


Create reduced the CIT for micro, small, and medium-sized firms from 30 percent to 20 percent, and for all other firms from to 25 percent.


The Department of Finance  leverages Create’s fiscal policy to “to promote a regime that rewards innovation and the creation of new knowledge,” according to Dominguez.


“Under Create, the types of investments that will be pursued are activities consistent with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These would spur the development of new production techniques and business models,” he added.


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