SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City
07 March 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the 2013 Philippine M.I.C.E Conference at the newly opened SMX Convention Center in Davao City. Organized by the Tourism Promotions Board, the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions and Events (M.I.C.E) aims to provide an ideal platform for a comprehensive educational program for Philippine M.I.C.E and tourism practitioners. Hundreds of local delegates from resorts, hotels, travel and tour companies, airlines, academe, local and national tourism government offices and other industry suppliers are gathered for this year’s premier educational event. While twelve of the world’s top tourism honchos and experts in related discipline will lead the foreign delegates.

President Aquino also signed into law the “Common Carriers Tax Act,” an act recognizing the principle of reciprocity as basis for the grant of income tax exemptions to international carriers and rationalizing other taxes imposed thereon by amending sections 28(a) and 3(a), 109, 118 and 236 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended and for other purposes. “This will actually mean an initial loss in revenue for us; but it is ultimately a strategic move. Airlines have long asked for this measure, since it will only bring in more traffic, and facilitate connectivity among our countries. With this bill everybody wins: from our aviation industries, to our tourism industries, to the millions of our peoples who will have greater freedom in planning in their trips,” the President said.

The legislation reaffirms the commitment of President Aquino to the development of tourism and airline industry in the Philippines. With the implementation of this new law, it is expected to significantly boost the tourism industry target of ten million foreign visitors by 2016. Moreover, it is also a welcome feat to the travel and tourism sector after the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has lifted the Significant Safety Concerns which constrained the expansion of the airline industry in the country in the past years.

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