We the undersigned are united in voicing our opposition in the strongest possible terms to the enactment at this time of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (House Bill 6875) recently approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading, and a similar bill approved by the Senate (Senate Bill 1083) last February.

The undersigned business organizations support a second, more substantial economic stimulus plan along the lines of the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill, formerly the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) bill, to fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect jobs and help job-creating businesses, especially MSMEs, which employ more than 62% of our workforce. ARISE would be an effective program for building on the Bayanihan Law and the measures President Duterte and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas have rolled out. It will serve as a powerful complement to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) proposed by the Department of Finance.

To mitigate the spread and impact of the COVID 19 virus, the government acted decisively and placed Luzon under severe quarantine measures starting March 17, 2020. In line with ensuing directives on the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas declared that – “We will arrest those who will not follow the guidelines”.

In light of the pandemic situation, Makati Business Club applauds the Department of Finance for swiftly proposing CREATE, a revision of its corporate income tax reform bill to assist businesses at this time. CREATE could also attract companies around the world who are re-thinking how to mitigate supply chain risks in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. There is a potential window of opportunity for the Philippines to attract businesses looking to diversify global locations.