SouthCot grants 10-year tax holiday to renewable energy firm

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Aug) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has granted a 10-year tax holiday effective next year to a renewable energy company that will soon operate a 6-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Surallah town.

The Surallah Power Generation, Inc. biomass power plant in South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

Emmanuel Jumilla, head of the South Cotabato Economic and Investments Promotion Center (SCEIPC), said the tax incentive was part of the support extended by the local government to assist the operations of the Surallah Power Generation, Inc. (SPGI).

He said the company has already invested nearly P1 billion in the last three years for the development of its biomass power plant in Sitio Morales, Barangay Centrala in Surallah town.

“The power plant is now up and running, and preparing for full operation hopefully by September,” he said in a phone interview.

A briefer released by the provincial government on Monday said SPGI had applied to avail of tax incentives under the amended Ordinance No. 25, Series of 2014 or the South Cotabato Investment Code of 2014.

SCEIPC and the Provincial Assessor’s Office conducted a site inspection last July 28 and endorsed the matter to the South Cotabato Investment Board.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. approved last Aug. 5 the granting of the tax incentives for the company after being considered qualified by the investment board.

Jumilla said SPGI’s business operation was mainly aligned with the development vision of the province as set in the provincial development and physical framework plan, as well as with the development priorities of the province in terms of economic development.

He said its business activity is deemed vital to the economy in terms of generating additional employment, contributing to poverty reduction and adding value to the raw materials produced in the province.

“It is included among the high priority projects or industries of the province under Section 20 of the [investment] code,” he said.

As approved by the board, Jumilla said the company was granted “an exemption from payment of basic real property tax to the full amount of the province’s share” from 2021 to 2030.

He said the company is required to submit their corporate social responsibility plans and other regular reports, and should source out at least 80 percent of their labor force requirement from within the province.

Jumilla said the company will mainly utilize rice husks to produce the biomass needed to fire up the power plant.

He said it has contracted rice mills from parts of the province for the supply of rice husks and other needed raw materials.

The official added that its operation will be a huge boost to existing industries and upcoming big-ticket projects in the province as its power resources will be added to the power generation mix of the Mindanao grid. (MindaNews)