House tax panel takes up move to revise CMTA; here's what happened

The House Committee on Ways and Means began on Monday, Nov. 28 the initial deliberations on measures seeking to amend Republic Act (RA) No.10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

(Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Raised and discussed by the Albay 2nd district Rep.Joey Salceda-chaired panel during a public hearing were House Bill (HB) Nos. 178, 1697, 3245 and 3789.

Under HB No.178, common carriers must declare the value of the goods and articles in the cargo manifest of vessels from a foreign port, bill of lading, and airway bill as it appears in the commercial invoice and letters of credit to reduce illegal trading.

The measure was filed by SAGIP Party-list Reps. Rodante Marcoleta and Caroline Tanchay.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Assistant Commissioner Vincent Maranilla said that at the moment, they only require all the necessary documents from the importer, such as the commercial invoice or proof of payment to prevent possible misinvoicing.

Meanwhile, HB No.1697 proposes a new provision that would allow the BOC to fund its modernization program with a portion of its annual revenue.

The bill is authored by Committee Vice Chairperson, Nueva Ecija 1st district Rep. Mikaela Angela Suansing; and Sultan Kudarat 2nd district Rep. Horacio Suansing.

To other bills, namely HB Nos. 3245 and 3789 seek to amend certain sections of RA No.10863. The measures aim to propose reforms in the BOC's policies, practices, systems, and transactions through modernization and optimization of trade practices.

HB Nos.3245 and 3279 are authored by AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Lex Anthony Cris Colada and Northern Samar Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza, respectively.

The Salceda panel will reconvene next Monday to continue discussions on the House measures once it receives the necessary documents to study the proposal further.

Meanwhile, the committee also approved with amendments the 10 eco-zone measures referred by the House Committee on Economic Affairs.

These are HB Nos.24, 292, 439, 467, 517, 745, 2952, 2728, 5415 and the unnumbered substitute bill or the "Special Defense Economic Zone" bill.

Monday's hearing was also presided over by Rep. Mikaela Suansing after Salceda temporarily left the proceedings to join another committee hearing.