House must pass second tax reform package to support ‘Build, Build, Build’

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the passage of the remaining packages of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program will ensure a reliable revenue base to support the modernization of the Philippine economy.

Beltran, who is also the Finance Department’s chief economist, said in a news briefing the tax reforms would ensure the equitable sharing of funds for the government’s social and infrastructure program while securing fiscal stability long into the future.

He said that for 2020, revenue collections were projected to reach P3.5 trillion of which P187.1 billion would come from tax reforms.

These include P153.8 billion from the first CTRP package or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law; P15.7 billion from Republic Act No. 11346, which raised excise taxes on tobacco products; and an estimated P20 billion from Package 2 Plus, which aims to increase excise taxes on alcohol and e-cigarette products.

Package 2 Plus was already approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading on Aug. 20.

Expenditures for 2020 are expected to reach P4.2 trillion or 19.8 percent of GDP, which translates into a deficit target of P677.6 billion or 3.2 percent of GDP that “is well within the norm for deficit spending,” Beltran said at a briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee for senators on Thursday morning.

 “The executive branch will continue to be engaged with the legislature in passing the remaining tax reform packages that will generate additional revenue streams for government to fund social amelioration programs,” said Beltran who represented Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III at the briefing. Julito G. Rada

Beltran pointed out that the passage and implementation of the remaining tax packages and the rest of the fiscal reform agenda would help bring the country to “A” rating territory “within the next couple of years.”

“More importantly, completing our reform programs will further secure our fiscal stability and help fulfill our shared goal of a decent and comfortable life for all law-abiding Filipinos. This means achieving our ultimate goal of bringing down poverty incidence from 21.6 percent in 2015 to only 14 percent by 2022,” Beltran said.

Beltran said the Philippines’ elevation from lower- to upper-middle-income country status ahead of schedule next year is a proof that the government can accomplish its goal of beating extreme poverty within a generation, “if we stay on course and continue to invest in the right things.”

Topics: Gil Beltran , Department of Finance , Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law
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