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STRONGER CAAP BILL GETS HOUSE PANEL OK – SARMIENTO

A measure strengthening the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives to make the country’s aviation industry more competitive.

The House Committee on Ways and Means approved the fiscal provisions of House Bill 8700 with amendments.

Samar Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento, author of the bill, said the CAAP is an independent regulatory body with quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers tasked to provide safe and efficient air transport and regulatory services in the country.

“CAAP should have the capability to respond to global changes and challenges,” Sarmiento said.

“The CAAP would be exempted from the Dividend Law within five years once the bill is enacted into law.”

Albay Representative Joey Salceda, committee chair, suggested that the CAAP would be exempted from the Dividend Law within five years once the bill is enacted into law.

Department of Finance (DOF) division chief Lyonel Tanganco earlier stated the DOF’s neutral stance on some of the fiscal provisions of HB 8700, particularly in the exemption of CAAP from the provisions of RA 7656 or the Dividend Law.

“CAAP’s financial position shows that it has the capability to pay the dividends due without affecting its viability,” Tanganco said.

“The exemption is intended to protect the country’s civil aviation assets and discourage workers from working for other countries that pay higher wages.”

Sarmiento said the exemption is intended to protect the country’s civil aviation assets and discourage workers from working for other countries that pay higher wages.

The panel also approved the funding provisions of the unnumbered substitute measure to HBs 5634 and 8305.

The substitute measure seeks to establish the Sierra Madre Conservation and Development Authority (SMCDA) for the protection and development of the Sierra Madre Range in Luzon.

The panel recommended that the proposed SMCDA may avail of a tax expenditure subsidy administered by the Fiscal Incentives and Review Board, subject to the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

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