By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) is confident the passage of its comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) would not be delayed by the new composition of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Duterte administration is optimistic the second tax reform package or the tax reform for attracting better and high-quality opportunities (Trabaho) bill would hurdle Congress before the end of the year.
Based on Dominguez’s estimates, the composition of the House membership could be 90 percent the same, while the Senate is “a little bit more fluid.”
“I think that 90 percent of the House seats are safe, it’s the Senate that a little bit more fluid, but when it comes to the House it’s more safe seats than real contests,” Dominguez told reporters.
Asked if the DOF could pass any of its tax reform proposals within this year, the finance chief said “that’s certainly (what) we’re going to try.”
“Of course, there’s a new Congress, there’s a new debate, but there’s nothing new, we’ve discussed the issues already. I don’t think there is any other hidden issue, we’ve been very open with it (and) Congress has been very transparent. The debates are not like we’re starting from zero,” Dominguez said.
The TRABAHO bill is the second package of the Duterte administration’s CTRP that aims to reduce corporate income tax (CIT) and rationalize fiscal incentives, especially for MSMEs that account for more than 99 percent of local businesses and 63 percent of jobs.
During the DOF anniversary last week, Dominguez has called on the agency’s employees to continue working hard to see through the congressional approval of the remaining packages under the CTRP, citing the positive results of the tax reform for acceleration (TRAIN) law as the best argument for the completion of the entire tax reform plans.