MANILA, Philippines --- Congress will transmit the enrolled copy of a bill seeking to remove taxes on international carriers and shippers for President Benigno S. Aquino III's signature heading into the break for the election period.
''It will be transmitted to the Palace during the break, but it will be ASAP (as soon as possible),'' said Majority Leader Neptali ''Boyet'' Gonzales II.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. signed the enrolled copy of the bill on Jan. 31, 2012. This was then transmitted to the Senate on the same day.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability who principally authored the measure, said President would not hesitate signing the proposed Act, which his administration certified as urgent to strengthen country's tourism industry.
''I am certain that the President would sign it at the earliest possible time due to its importance to tourism and the present economic thrusts of the PNoy administration,'' he said.
Gonzales said the enrolled bill was transmitted to Senate last week for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's signature.
An enrolled bill is an authentic copy of a legislative measure signed by the Speaker and the Senate President as well as the Secretary General of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.
After the Senate President signs the bill, it will be transmitted to Malacañang for Mr. Aquino's signature.
Last Jan. 23, the 287-man House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference report reconciling the provisions of Senate Bill 3343 and House Bill 6022. The Senate also did its part in ratifying the report.
The ratified measure provides that international air carriers doing business in the Philippines will not be liable to pay the 2.5 percent Gross Philippine Billings Tax (GPBT) pursuant to the principle of reciprocity.
The grant of reciprocal exemptions to international air carriers will enter into force 30 days from the exchange of diplomatic notes between the Philippines and the foreign jurisdiction concerned. The diplomatic notes will constitute the agreement between the two countries.
Gonzales expressed optimism that the measure will be signed by Mr. Aquino to boost the country's tourist arrivals.
The Philippine government seeks to attract 10 million tourists by 2016.
On Dec. 19, 2012, Senate Bill 3343 was approved on third and final reading. The House approved its own version, HB 6022, last May 21, 2012.
International carriers and shippers are required to pay 2.5 percent GPBT and 3 percent common carriers' tax (CCT) as provided under by the National Internal Revenue Code.