The Department of Finance (DOF) has urged the Senate to help guarantee the Philippines’ "strong economic rebound" from the lingering pandemic by swiftly approving the Duterte administration’s remaining economic reform measures.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the remaining bills of comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) will attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs), deepen the capital markets and further make the tax system simpler, fairer and more efficient.
“In the remaining period of the President’s term, we will rapidly modernize governance, continue our public investments, and pursue market-friendly reforms to achieve a strong economic rebound,” Dominguez told the Senate finance committee.
These reforms include the amendatory bills to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) and Public Service Act (PSA) to enable the economy to attract more FDIs and ensure long-term growth.
Dominguez also pushed the approval of the Real Property Valuation Reform Act and the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), the remaining CTRP Packages 3 and 4, respectively.
He said these legislative measures will help achieve a “strong economic rebound” from the pandemic, along with the congressional passage of the Capital Market Development Act (CMDA) of 2021 to further deepen the domestic capital markets.
Another investment-friendly measure endorsed earlier by the DOF and Malacanang—the proposed amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA)—has already been passed on third and final reading by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The RTLA is pending in the bicameral conference committee.
The House has likewise passed the bills proposing amendments to the PSA and FIA; Packages 3 and 4 of the CTRP, and the CDMA. These bills are pending in the Senate.
Moreover, Dominguez said the government will also maintain the spending for the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program at above 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to generate multiplier effects for the economy, such as creating more jobs and business opportunities.
He said the Duterte administration will also invest heavily in the country’s young, talented workforce—its strongest asset and instrument in recovering strongly from the pandemic—to sustain demand and create wealth for the economy.
To avert severe spikes in the COVID-19 infection rate in the coming period, Dominguez said the government will step up its vaccination drive, continue building up the public health care system and improve its tracking, tracing and treatment methods.
The running total of vaccine supply to date has reached 52.8 million doses, with 36.2million vaccine shots successfully administered as of September 6. These consist of 20.9million for the first dose and 15.3 million for the second shot, Dominguez said.
He said that in the remaining months of the year, the government is expecting the arrival of about 142 million more doses to complete the goal of inoculating all Filipino adults by the end of this year.