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Approved bill gives organic agriculture producers a host of fiscal, financing perks

March 21, 2010


March 20, 2010, 2:59pm

At least six fiscal incentives, including income tax holiday and and zero-rated value-added tax (VAT), should be granted by government to organic agriculture producers in order to encourage maximized production of agricultural crops free from harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizer.

Under the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 that is expected to be signed soon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, organic producers should also enjoy  exemption from duties on the importation of agricultural equipment and machinery and from local government units’ (LGUs) taxes.

They should be given preferential rates and special financing window by Land Bank of the Philippines and enjoy government subsidies for certification fees. In the first place, the exemption from duties on the importation of equipment is already embodied under Republic Act 9281 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA).

The Organic Agriculture Act, approved jointly through Senate Bill 3264 and House Bill 7066, was signed by Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Loren Legarda, Edgardo Angara, Pia Cayetano, and representatives Proceso Alcala, Agapito Guanlao, Rafael Mariano, Jeci A. Lapus, and Leonardo Montemayor.

It will establish a National Organic Agricultural Board composed of representatives from the Department of Agriculture, local government, Department of Science and Technology, and other sectors.

A P50-million budget is being allocated for DA’s organic farming promotion program for the first year of the law’s implementation. Implementing Rules and Regulations should be put in place 90 days from the ratification of the law.

Moreover, the government naturally gives a seven-year tax holiday to priority industries under the Investments Priorities Plan.

The zero-rated VAT is applicable on transactions on bio-organic products, whether organic inputs or organic products.

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