Duterte tax reforms get broad support
The proposed revenue package of the Duterte administration —dubbed the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (Train)—has gained “overwhelming support” both locally and abroad because of its provisions that will make the tax system simpler and more efficient, the Department of Finance said.
In a statement, the DOF said that it has so far conducted some 400 briefings with various sectors and economic reform advocates on the “pro-poor, progressive measures” of the proposed tax package.
It’s main provisions include exempting from personal income taxes all employees earning P250,000 a year or less, while compensating for this through higher levies on luxury items like high-end vehicles as well as everyday consumables like sugar and petroleum.
With the Senate now holding extensive deliberations on the Train, the DOF said the tax reform proposal has so far gained 199 statements of support from former and current government officials, multilateral institutions and development partners, labor organizations, business chambers, farmers’ groups, private sector individuals, and members of the academe and the media.
Since September last year when the original version of Train was endorsed by the DOF to the House of Representatives, a total of 400 tax briefings were spearheaded by Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua and other finance officials to inform the public about the details and benefits of this proposal, which is the first of President Duterte’s series of tax reform packages.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also attended several hearings of the House Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua to personally call on lawmakers to support tax reform.
Train was approved by the House last May 31 as House Bill 5636, which consolidated the measure authored by Cua—HB 4774—with 54 other tax-related bills. The Senate is now tackling HB 5636 along with SB 1408 that was filed by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and which is the original DOF version.