August 05, 2019
THE Department of Finance (DoF) has set a timetable of 15 to 18 months to have the remaining packages of the government’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) passed before the 2022 election season begins.
In an interview late last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd explained the period covered by the timetable was when his department and members of the 18th Congress would be most productive.
“We can be the most productive at that time, because (by) 2021, everybody is looking somewhere else already,” Dominguez said, referring to lawmakers’ preparations for the 2022 polls.
“This is the reality we have to face. We have to finish this thing by 15 to 18 months,” he told reporters.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address last month, President Rodrigo Duterte urged the 18th Congress to pass the remaining CTRP packages, which he said would help finance its efforts to reduce poverty in the country.
The remaining packages are:
• Package 1B, which seeks reforms in the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge and the bank secrecy law;
• Package 2, better known as Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher-quality Opportunities measure, aims to reduce corporate income taxes from 30 percent to 20 percent in 10 years and rationalize fiscal incentives;
•Package 2 Plus, which aims to further increase the excise tax on alcohol to provide additional funding for the government’s Universal Health Care program, and increase the state’s share from mining;
• Package 3, which would broaden the tax base of property taxes of the national and local governments, thereby increasing government revenues without increasing the existing tax rates or devising new tax impositions; and
• Package 4, which proposes the rationalization of capital income tax to address the multiple rates and different tax treatments and exemptions on capital income and other financial instruments.
The first package — Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act — was implemented in January 2018 after Duterte signed it the month before. This law reduced personal income taxes in exchange for higher excise taxes on certain products, including automobiles, coal and sugar-sweetened beverages.
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