THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said taxing the digital economy and carbon emissions hold the potential for funding a sustainable recovery.

In a forum Monday, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa outlined four revenue-boosting measures that will help countries fund their bounce back plans focused on green, sustainable and inclusive initiatives.

“We need to rebuild our economy and society with green, resilient, and inclusive measures. Investing in infrastructure that satisfies ‘G20 quality infrastructure principles’ should be an important part of post-pandemic recovery packages,” Mr. Asakawa said in a forum hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

“We also need to address worsened income inequality due to the pandemic and ensure affordable, accessible, and high quality education and health services,” he added.

Mr. Asakawa said expanding the tax base, closing the gaps created by the digital economy and introducing a tax on carbon emissions could help economies generate the revenue needed to fund green and sustainable recovery measures.

House Bill No. 07425 filed in Congress, aims to impose value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions and establish a fiscal regime for the digital economy.

The Department of Finance (DoF) is studying how to improve the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s system to capture businesses doing transactions online.

The DoF estimated it can collect P17 billion in fresh revenue from VAT on goods and services sold online.

In 2018, it said the department is studying a carbon tax scheme. Asked for an update on the plan, the DoF had not responded at deadline time. — Beatrice M. Laforga