The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for restaurant owners and operators. The industry continues to struggle to sustain its businesses following a 44% decline in food service sales in 2020, with many establishments forced to downsize or cease operations.
As the country recovers from the pandemic, Senator Loren Legarda urged the need to revive the restaurant industry and ensure their transition to a better normal as she filed Senate Bill No. 499 or the “Restaurant Industry Revival Act of 2022”.
“To hasten our country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to bolster our restaurant industry and assist them in saving their businesses and the employees who depend on them. This will certainly provide a much-needed boost for our economic recovery,” Legarda said.
Under SB 499, restaurants in distress shall be given tax incentives, such as deductions from income taxes and input VAT, payment schemes for local government taxes and payments to the government or to government-owned and controlled corporations, as well as the non-imposition of taxes on rentals paid for commercial spaces where restaurants are established.
The bill also seeks to grant a Php 30 billion bridge fund for a stimulus package that will grant loans and ensure the revival of the country’s restaurant industry, which has been severely pummeled during the COVID-19 economic crisis.
“The creation of payment extensions, other tax incentives, and bridge funding will help prevent the closure of more restaurants. The food service industry has suffered enough in this pandemic. It is time we assist them in their transition to a better normal, and we must do so while ensuring that their employees’ jobs are protected as they continue with their operations,” Legarda concluded.