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P1.4T worth of projects to be passed on to Duterte successor

/ 05:28 AM January 17, 2020

President Duterte will leave to his successor “an impressive P1.4 trillion worth of projects ready to be implemented” compared to just P50 billion at the end of Benigno Aquino III’s term, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. “I think that’s a very important legacy of a President—to hand over something to his successor on a silver platter,” Dominguez said in a statement.

However, the finance chief pointed out that two more succeeding administrations would need to exercise “the same strong political will and decisive leadership” as that of Mr. Duterte’s in order to sustain the country’s economic and social gains.

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Dominguez said that by mid-2022, at the end of Duterte’s term, the taxation system would be in a much better shape than when he first took over in 2016.

He said this could be attributed to the Comprehensive Tax Reform Packages he had pushed to make the system “simpler, fairer and more efficient” while raising more funds for priority government programs.

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“The revenue-generating agencies are going to be operating—firing in full—all cylinders,” Dominguez said.

First taking effect in 2018, the first package of the program—the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act lowered personal income taxes for 99 percent of wage earners; imposed a tax on unhealthy sweetened beverages; raised taxes on oil products and automobiles; expanded the value-added tax base, and simplified estate and donor’s taxes.

The TRAIN law also provided unconditional cash transfers to 10 million poorest households in the country as well as fuel vouchers to public utility jeepney operators and drivers.

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TAGS: President Duterte, successor
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