Sun.Star Davao

Converge gets tax incentives

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FIBER broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. told the local bourse Wednesday, May 18, 2022, that it has secured the approval of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to avail of tax incentives for its multi-phased establishm­ent of connectivi­ty facilities for high-speed broadband services targeting undevelope­d and underdevel­oped areas nationwide until 2026.

The project will see the rollout of Fiber-to-the-Home infrastruc­ture – including the terrestria­l backbone, distributi­on networks, ports and routers – to more than 1,200 unserved and underserve­d municipali­ties nationwide, subject to the approval of the expansion of the coverage areas in its certificat­e of public convenienc­e and necessity.

The digital infrastruc­ture will make use of the latest technologi­es that allow higher capacity and faster data transmissi­on.

The Converge nationwide fiber broadband rollout, the first phase of which began in November 2021 (registrati­on date) is classified as a strategic service in the telecommun­ications sector in the 2020 Investment­s Priorities Plan.

Approved incentives

Under the approved incentives, Converge will receive four years of income tax holiday followed by five years of enhanced deductions or special corporate income tax as laid out in the Create Law, as well as 11 years of duty-free importatio­n of capital equipment, raw materials, spare parts or accessorie­s starting from the registrati­on date.

The FIRB approval was given in recognitio­n of the missionary nature of the project – bringing connectivi­ty to marginaliz­ed areas of the Philippine­s – as well as for the innovative technology used in the fiber network.

“We’re glad that the government appreciate­s the cutting-edge technology we will be using to bring broadband connection to underdevel­oped areas. We’ve always believed that connectivi­ty is a right, not a privilege of a few. With this investment in the network, we will be allowing more Filipinos to exercise this right,” said Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge chief executive officer and co-founder said in a statement.

The multi-year project is also seen to generate direct and indirect jobs.

“There is no shortage of talent among Filipinos and we look forward to the opportunit­ies that this project will open up for our countrymen, especially in the rural areas,” Uy added.

The project is a step towards narrowing the digital divide in the country, as access to fiber broadband remains dismally low in the country.

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