DoF says business sector keen on tax reform bills to be refiled with new Congress

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Gil S. Beltran

THE Department of Finance (DoF) said it will re-file with the 18th Congress bills that form part of second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which seeks to rationalize fiscal incentives and lower corporate income tax.

“The business community is especially interested in the second package of the CTRP. For the 18th Congress. We are going to file again the bill to rationalize fiscal incentives and lower the corporate income tax,” Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said in a statement Friday.

“We are advocating that the granting of fiscal incentives be targeted and time-bound,” Mr. Beltran added.

The DoF noted that the administration has reversed the underspending on infrastructure in the previous government by committing 5.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) to the sector from 2.8% previously.

The DoF credited the increase to the tax reform program, particularly the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Fiscal policy has been the Achilles’ heel of the Philippine economy, at least as regards macroeconomic stability. Our past measures were largely staving off brewing fiscal imbalances. Now that our fiscal position is on a much better footing, it is time to turn our gaze towards growth and equity,” Mr. Beltran said.

Mr. Beltran added that the remaining tranches of the CTRP which have not yet been passed are “largely efficiency enhancing.”

The third package of the CTRP seeks to adopt international standards in the property valuation system which is expected to produce higher revenue for local government units (LGUs) without raising tax rates, while the fourth package seeks to simplify the regime for taxing capital income.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has said that economic managers must work closely with legislators to avoid the prospect of bills being vetoed by the President. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio