DOF hopes for swift Senate OK of tax reform
The head of the Duterte administration’s economic team yesterday said he was hoping the Senate would heed President Duterte’s call to approve the first tax reform package.
“With the President’s certification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (Train) bill as an urgent and a priority measure, complemented by the personal appeal he made before our lawmakers in his Sona (state of the nation address), we are hopeful the Senate will pass the measure soon enough so that it could be implemented by the third or fourth quarter of the year,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement.
During his Sona last Monday, the President called on the Senate to support his tax reform in full and to pass it with haste, citing the “urgency” of the comprehensive tax reform in his administration’s reform agenda.
“These reforms are designed to be pro-poor, especially when the people understand how the revenues will be spent,” he said.
Also, “the passage of the tax reform law is needed to fund the proposed 2018 budget” of P3.767 trillion, the biggest to date, the President added.
“The poor and vulnerable are at the heart of my tax reform. Your full support will ensure that the benefits of the tax reform can be felt immediately by them,” he said.
The first tax reform package was aimed at slashing personal income tax rates while jacking up taxes on consumption.
Before Congress went on sine die adjournment, the House of Representatives approved House Bill (HB) No. 5636 containing the Department of Finance’s proposal as well as other related measures, including a P10 per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, among others.
The DOF said the lower house-approved version was watered down and would raise less revenue than the original proposal, hence posing a risk to the country’s investment grade credit ratings. —BEN O. DE VERA
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