OVER 13 major business groups have expressed support for the passage of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) and other priority measures, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).
The CTRP hopes to reduce corporate income tax (CIT), rationalize fiscal incentives, upgrade the property valuation and assessment system, and implement new excise taxes on alcohol, e-cigarettes and vaping products.
Other measures identified by the business groups are the amendments to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investment Act, and Retail Trade Act, the DoF said.
The business groups include: the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ANZCham), Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IT-BPAP), Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines (JCCI), Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (KCCP), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters (Pamuri), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI), the DoF said.
“In their July 8 letter addressed to President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the private sector groups singled out these reforms, among others, as crucial to improve the Philippine economy and our international competitiveness,” the DoF said in a statement.
The President is scheduled to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) today.
According to the DoF, these groups noted that such reforms are important “in achieving our shared vision of inclusive growth through job generation, poverty reduction and global competitiveness.”
Earlier, the DoF said that these bills, along with the Universal Health Care Law which was passed by the 17th Congress, are needed reforms to help the Philippines achieve upper middle-income economy status.
Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said, “We are certainly one with NEDA and Secretary (Ernesto M.) Pernia in working toward graduating to upper middle-income country status at the soonest possible time, while at the same time helping one million Filipinos lift themselves from poverty every year.”
“The following will help achieve this: continue investing in infrastructure; pass the remaining packages of the comprehensive tax reform program; improve the investment climate by passing priority registration; fully implement socioeconomic reforms such as the national ID, ease of doing business, rice liberalization, universal health care; and improve agricultural productivity,” Mr. Lambino added. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio