By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) will push for the swift passage of the Duterte administration’s second tax reform measure, noting it will work closely with Congress to meet the President’s order to pass the bill into law before the end of the year.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has always been the principal advocate of inclusive growth and of the means to achieve it through the passage of the second comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP).
For this reason, Dominguez said that the “tax reform is a key tool to reach that objective.”
“We will extend all the technical support that Congress needs in heeding the President’s call for the passage of Package two this year, especially for the benefit of our small and medium enterprises,” Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message.
In his State of the Nation Address last Monday, Duterte urged the Congress to pass the second tranche of the tax reforms, aimed at rationalizing corporate taxes.
The chief executive hopes to sign the second CTRP into law before the end of the year, noting “pass it in a form that satisfies our goals and serves the interests of the many, not just the wealthy few.”
“Package two will lower corporate income taxes, especially for our small businesses. Lower taxes mean they will have more money to invest and create more jobs,” Duterte said.
He noted that more than 99 percent of businesses in the Philippines are micro, small, or medium enterprises (MSME) and employ around 65 percent of the country’s workers.
“The enactment of the Package two is what stands between today and millions of jobs in the near future,” Duterte said. “This matter is urgent. Do not be part of the problem by ignoring it.”
Dominguez said the DOF believes that the President’s strong statements in the SONA will help allay whatever uncertainty is left about the imperative for reform.
“The administration is serious about tax reform, and it is definitely serious about having Package two signed by the end of the year,” Dominguez said.
“The DOF commits itself to the President’s stated deadline. Tax reform will bring about growth with equity and heightened productivity that will help us attain our aspiration to be a high-middle-income country by 2022, lifting one million Filipinos from poverty every year,” he concluded.