SPEAKER Alan Peter S. Cayetano has asked the Senate to act on the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), adding that Congress has “limited time” and will adjourn for its Easter break in mid-March.

“We are looking at corporate income tax and incentives after the enactment of the sin tax law. The key is to make taxation equitable, progressive. This means that the poor should pay less, while the rich and businesses should pay more. But that is not that simple, because it is important that the country remain competitive. Even our own regions have to compete with each other,” he said in a statement Thursday.

Mr. Cayetano recalled that as recently as the 1990s, there were hundreds of manufacturing corporations located in Taguig, his bailiwick.

“Later they transferred to Cavite, and eventually from Cavite to China. So the reality is we have to look at the incentives offered by Vietnam, Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia. We have to look at how attractive our own incentives are for business to come into the country,” he said.

The Speaker also urged citizens to communicate to their representatives any proposals regarding taxation.

“If you think there is a provision in the Tax Code that is unfair, or a problem with tax administration — meaning the law is okay but implementation or revenue collection is not right — let us know, so we can take action,” he said.

The House of Representatives passed CITIRA in late 2019. The measure seeks to eventually reduce corporate income tax to 20% from 30%. The measure’s counterpart bill remains pending in the Senate. — Genshen L. Espedido