Tax reforms to make P52B for health care next year
Additional revenues to be collected from tax reforms so far implemented should reach P195.5 billion next year, a portion of which would be spent on the implementation of the universal health care program, a Department of Finance (DOF) official said.
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran told the House appropriations committee on Thursday that P153.8 billion would come from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act alone.
Implemented in 2018, the TRAIN law jacked up or slapped new excise on cigarettes, oil products, sugar-sweetened beverages, motor vehicles and cosmetic procedures, among other goods and services.
The TRAIN law also slashed personal income tax rates, granting workers a bigger take-home pay.
Beltran said the remainder of the incremental revenues expected to be collected next year would come from tax package “2 plus,” which would further increase excise on regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.
Republic Act No. 11346 signed by President Duterte last month will raise cigarette taxes, while higher rates for heated tobacco, vapes and alcohol products are still pending in Congress. The lower House on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the measure further raising e-cigarette and alcohol taxes.
DOF data showed that RA 11346 and the pending measure, once passed into law, would increase health care funding by a total of P397.4 billion—P52 billion in 2020, P67.9 billion in 2021, P80.4 billion in 2022, P94.7 billion in 2023 and P102.4 billion
For 2019, the DOF targets to collect P113.1 billion from the TRAIN law, on top of P27.5 billion from the ongoing estate tax and delinquencies tax amnesties.
Last year, the TRAIN law generated P68.4 billion in net revenues, 8.1-percent higher than the P63.3-billion target. —BEN O. DE VERA
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