DOF lists priority legislative bills for 2018

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) said it intends to support three legislative measures for immediate approval in Congress next year.

In an interview, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III cited three priority bills which the DOF would push for approval in the Congress in 2018, including the second package of the tax reform bill, the tariffication of rice and the provision of a national identification card.

“We told them (Congress) that we will be really focusing on Package 2 (of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program or CTRP) which is lowering CIT (corporate income tax) together with reviewing of fiscal incentives,” Dominguez told reporters.

“Package 2 is almost ready,” he added.

Earlier, Dominguez said the DOF aims to submit to Congress the second CTRP package by January 2018.

According to earlier reports, key features of the second tax reform bill will include the reduction of corporate income tax rates to 28 percent by 2019 and 25 percent by 2021 from the current 30 percent, and the rationalization of fiscal incentives being enjoyed by certain business sectors.

The DOF said Package 2 will be designed as a revenue-neutral measure, as the loss expected from the lower corporate income tax will be offset by the removal of tax incentives of some industries.

Dominguez said his department will also support a bill on the imposition of tariff on imported rice.

“Tariffication I think is also ready. It’s already in the House (of Representatives) but this is what we want to push,” he said.

Earlier, the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council endorsed the proposed amendments on Republic Act 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996 as one of government’s priority bills.

These amendments seek for a tariff scheme for imported rice, after the lapse of the quantitative restrictions on the commodity.

Lastly, Dominguez said the finance department will also call for the approval of a bill seeking the provision of a national ID system.

“The other one that we want to push also is the national ID that is very key to the whole mobilization of the Philippine society,” he said.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said the bill would ensure the effective and targeted implementation of tax safety nets under the first tax reform bill.  The rollout of the program is expected to start in 2018.

Meanwhile, the finance chief said the DOF would also push for the completion of the review on Republic Act 10351, or the Sin Tax Reform Law, in preparation for the proposed adjustments on the excise tax of tobacco and alcohol.



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