House OKs bill boosting tourism SMEs engaged in advanced tech

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 8764, which is a major amendment to the Foreign Investments Act of 1991.

“As Member of the House Committee on Tourism, I supported HB 8764 because of the growth impact it can have by modernizing our tourism sector using online booking and cyberspace technologies,” Misamis Oriental 2nd district representative Juliette Uy said.

The lower chamber passed HB 8764 on Monday, January 14.

Uy said HB 8764, when it becomes law, will allow foreign investors to infuse $100,000.00 minimum paid-in capital into SMEs capitalized at up to $200,000.00, engaged in advanced technologies, and with at least 15 direct employees.

 “An investment of $100,000.00 which is about P5.2 million can give a tourism SME strong Internet and social media presence through online bookings and offering of their services and visitor destinations,” the solon said.

“Multiply that by the tens of thousands tourism SMEs nationwide and we could very well see a tourism boom in the next few years,” Uy said.

She noted that “reliable and efficient cyberspace access has long been a weakness of many tourism SMEs in the country.”

“As early as now, the DOT and DTI ought to lay the groundwork for the implementation of this amendment to the Foreign Investments Act of 1991. A National Registry and Database of SMEs can be crucial, and will also dovetail with the execution of the Ease of Doing Business Act,” Uy, vice chair of the House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development said.

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