Tax reform, aggressive housing program pushed
The attainment of the Filipinos’ vision to have a “simple and comfortable” life with a per capita income thrice bigger than the current level by 2040 would get a boost if the succeeding administrations will implement a comprehensive tax reform and an aggressive housing program.
Outgoing Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel F. Esguerra also welcomed Tuesday earlier pronouncements of the incoming Duterte administration that the National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) apolitical vision exercise called “AmBisyon Natin 2040” would guide the formulation of the next Philippine Development Plan for 2017 to 2022.
At a forum co-organized by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, Neda Director General Esguerra said the current Neda leadership had already referred AmBisyon Natin 2040 to incoming Neda chief Ernesto M. Pernia.
Launched in March, AmBisyon Natin 2040 was aimed at tripling the Filipinos’ per capita income to $11,000 in 24 years by sustaining at least 6.5-percent annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth alongside the implementation of policies that would make the Philippines a high-income country by 2040.
A survey conducted early this year showed that the majority of Filipinos aspired for a “simple and comfortable life” which, Neda said, reflected middle-class life style—earning enough, educating all children until college, owning a car, owning a medium-sized house, finding time to relax with family and friends, owning a business, and being able to travel around the country.
According to Esguerra, the incoming administration’s proposed 10-point socioeconomic agenda was “consistent with the aspirations that have been presented in AmBisyon Natin 2040 and consistent with what has been put in place by the [Aquino] administration,” during which the economy grew by an average of 6.2 percent, the fastest since the late 1970s.
But for the Filipino vision of a middle-class life by 2040 to be achieved, reforms in the tax structure as well as housing development should be pursued, according to Neda Deputy Director General Rosemarie G. Edillon.
The Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) executive technical board is discussing macroeconomic assumptions in line with plans for a comprehensive tax reform package, Edillon said.
She said tax policy was also a means to improve the country’s competitiveness and promote equity.
Amid proposals to reduce individual and corporate income taxes, which would result in foregone revenues, Edillon stressed the need to also implement compensating revenue measures.
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