President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to push for the immediate passage of other pending bills under his administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program in his final State of the Nation Address next Monday.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the passage of the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act and the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Taxation Act (PIFITA) would be a net plus for the country’s credit rating.
Both reforms are currently pending before the Senate.
He said Duterte is also expected to emphasize the need to create new revenue streams during his last SONA.
“Some weeks ago, he mentioned the strategic importance of a well-regulated gaming sector to economic and fiscal recovery,” Salceda said.
Salceda said the House and Senate are expected to agree on a ratified version of the tax regime on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) a week after SONA.
Another potent revenue stream, he said, is e-sabong taxes, which the House has already submitted to the Senate.
He stressed the approval of the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) will be “critical” to increasing foreign direct investments and creating new jobs.
The RTLA is now at the bicameral conference stage, while the other two are on the Senate floor.
He also highlighted the need to make the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law work, as it could open the doors to greater foreign investments.
“The net inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) more than doubled to $679 million in April from $317 million in 2020. But to maximize its impact, we need a well-trained and well-equipped labor force capable of filling in the jobs FDIs will create,” he said.
He said a stronger role for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is necessary to establish a skills-centric education system.
“I am hoping President Duterte will reiterate the need to transform TESDA into a cabinet-level agency capable of implementing a massive national upskilling program. Along with this, I hope President Duterte also emphasizes the need for a skills-centric education system,” he said.