Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, January 16, 2005

BCDA vows to assume tax, duties of Subic-Clark road

By Alena Mae S. Flores

State-owned Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) yesterday assured Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) that the P2.3 billion worth of value added tax (VAT) and import duties on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) “will not be levied on them.”

BCDA, in a statement said, it would “assume the responsibility of the taxes and duties” and “grant tax subsidy” to the Japanese contractors in the SCTEP project.

BCDA issued the statement amid a threat from JBIC to withhold funding for the P26 billion SCTEP project because the government takes a long time in refunding VAT payments to Japanese contractors.

Japanese contractors have been demanding VAT refunds from the government on infrastructure projects funded under the overseas development assistance (ODA) loans of Japan.

BCDA said it had applied for tax subsidy from the national government through the Department of Budget and Management and the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB).

It said the Department of Finance had “favorably endorsed” the application for tax subsidy. The application has been included under the 2005 General Appropriations Act, which automatically appropriates “tax expenditure subsidies granted by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board to GOCCs... “
The 2005 GAA is pending with the Senate after the House of Representatives passed it.

“As soon as the GAA is approved, the BCDA will automatically be granted tax subsidy for the toll road project,” BCDA said.

The construction of the 94.5-kilometer superhighway, connecting the Subic Port in Zambales to the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and stretching all the way to Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, is expected to commence within the first quarter of the year.

Of the total project cost of P26.154 billion, JBIC will finance 85 percent or roughly P21 billion to cover construction cost.

The balance will be raised by BCDA as counterpart fund. BCDA clarified that its 15 percent counterpart fund would finance, among others, right-of-way acquisition, administration cost, physical contingency, and taxes and duties


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