You are here

SBSR stakeholders appeal for tax incentives from govt

SBSR stakeholders appeal for tax incentives from govt
February 22, 2023

FILIPINO shipbuilders that gathered at the two-day Expo Maritime Philippines 2023 unanimously pressed the government to level the playing field by extending to them similar incentives that foreign shipbuilders have been enjoying for many years now.

At the Ship Builders Convention, a part of the Expo Maritime staged at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza last February 15-17, an emerging player in the country's shipbuilding and ship repair (SBSR) industry, Capt. Gaudencio Morales underscored the contribution of private sector initiative to achieve the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) that the Maritime Industry Authority crafted in 2019.

Sammuel Lim, chairman of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, stressed during the same forum that the government should "level the playing field between local shipyards and shipyards located in tax-free zones."

Morales, a former ship captain-turned-successful entrepreneur, ventured recently into the SBSR business by building a modest-sized shipyard in Albuera, Leyte, which is expected to commence operation in June this year. He is also the president of the Filipino Association for Mariners' Employment.

At the convention, Morales spoke about the private sector initiative in support of the MIDP. For his part, he intends to contribute to several programs under the MIDP through his IMP Shipyard and Ports Services Inc., the operator of the SBSR facility in Leyte.

Both Lim and Morales said that the private sector initiative, however, is facing some challenges which could only be addressed through timely governmental intervention, particularly the granting of incentives to shipbuilders that could reduce the cost of building ships and make them more affordable to shipowners.

Morales called on the government for "the immediate implementation of the 2022 Strategic Investment Priority Plan where shipbuilding was identified as one of the investment priority plans in the Create Law."

These include tax holidays to industries identified as investment priorities, which the government is already extending to foreign shipbuilders in the country.

Another, Morales asked for "the enactment of a law, establishing a 'Special Economic Zone' for the SBSR industry where providers or suppliers of shipbuilding and ship repair inputs can co-locate to offer less cost of imported raw materials."