Finance dep’t seeks support from economists for pushing second tax reform package

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III explains how the implementation of the Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law can benefit the citizenry and the government during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacañang on January 8, 2018. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) is seeking the support of local and international economists from the academe, private sector, government and international organizations, for the push for the second tax package seeking to reform the corporate tax structure as hearings resume next week.

“It is in this historic moment that a statement of support from you, our country’s
eminent economists, for the second tax reform package would be most welcome as
those who benefit from the status quo are quite active and vocal in their opposition,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a speech during a luncheon with economists on Wednesday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.

“Most importantly, we ask for your guidance today and we hope we can count on your
continued support in the coming weeks,” he added.

The package features the lowering of corproate income tax to up to 20% from the current 30%, while streamlining fiscal incentives enjoyed by firms.

The second tax reform package is currently being deliberated by the House ways and means committee. The third public hearing for the measure is scheduled on July 24, the day after the President’s State of the Nation Address.

The luncheon was attended by Yasuyuki Sawada, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB); Luis Breuer, division chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); former Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo; Prof. Dante Canlas of the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Economics and president-CEO of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) Alternative Fuels Corp.; Gerardo Sicat, professor emeritus of the UP School of Economics and the first director- general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); Gilberto Llanto, board member and former president of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS); Renato Reside, assistant professor of the UP School of Economics; Monetary Board members Prof. Felipe Medalla and Bruce Tolentino; and Arsenio Balisacan, chairperson of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and a former director-
general of NEDA. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan