Gov’t vows to resolve tax row with Japan
THE DEPARTMENT of Finance has committed to resolve pending issues on value-added tax (VAT) slapped on Japanese-funded projects, as aid agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) committed to support the Duterte administration.
In a statement, the DOF said Jica president Shinichi Kitaoka, in a recent courtesy call to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, “[gave] its backing to President Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda focused on inclusive growth and has committed support particularly to initiatives meant to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and attain lasting peace in Mindanao.”
During the meeting, Dominguez explained to Kitaoka the priority goals of President Duterte under the 10-point socioeconomic agenda, which were to reduce poverty, create a law-abiding and peaceful society for Filipinos, seek lasting peace with armed insurgents and maintain warm and cordial relations with the country’s neighbors in the international community.
Dominguez also assured the visiting Jica official that the government “would address issues concerning the VAT on Jica projects funded by official development assistance (ODA).
Finance Undersecretary Maria Edita Z. Tan said Dominguez and Kitaoka likewise discussed ways on how Jica and the Philippines could cooperate in executing several pipeline projects not only in the metropolis, including a plan to build a Mega Manila subway, but also in other parts of the country.
“Both sides exchanged views to further cooperate and look into the pipeline projects for cooperation with Japan such as on the procurement of 94-meter vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard, the Mega Manila subway, the study of which is expected to be completed in August 2017, and the planned technical assistance to support Davao City’s urban planning,” added Tan, who heads the DOF’s international finance group.
“Dominguez expressed his wish for Jica to support the priority goals of President Duterte [that] will help guarantee that the benefits of economic growth reach majority of our countrymen and make the country safe for them,” according to Tan.
For the part of Jica, Tan said “Mr. Kitaoka expressed his commitment to support the President’s agenda, particularly on urban transport infrastructure projects to address Metro Manila’s traffic congestion, and the peace process in Mindanao.”
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