House Bill 8083, which was renamed Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill, is the second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program that aims to generate funds for the government’s Build, Build, Build project.
Miguel de Guzman/File
House gives final approval to TRAIN 2 bill
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 187-14 with three abstentions, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading yesterday the second phase of the controversial Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law despite skyrocketing prices of practically all commodities.

House Bill 8083, which was renamed Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill, is the second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program that aims to generate funds for the government’s Build, Build, Build project.

The seven-man Makabayan militant bloc and the so-called “Magnificent 7” have vigorously opposed the measure, which is being pushed by the economic managers of President Duterte as the administration embarks on an ambitious and massive infrastructure program.

Among those who abstained were Reps. Manuel Zubiri, Arnolfo Teves and Teddy Baguilat.

The 14 who voted “no” were Reps. Miro Quimbo, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Tom Villarin, Edcel Lagman, Sarah Jane Elago, Ariel Casilao, Arlene Brosas, Gabriel Bordado, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Jorge Banal, Lito Atienza, France Castro, Raul Daza and Gary Alejano.

The priority measure seeks to encourage investments by bringing down the corporate income tax rate from 30 percent to 20 percent, and modernize investment tax incentives to enhance fairness, improve competitiveness, plug tax leakages and attain fiscal sustainability.

Authored by Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, the bill also aims to ensure that the grant of fiscal incentives helps bring in the greatest benefits, such as higher and more dispersed investments, more jobs and better technology.

Cua and Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing sponsored the measure at the House plenary.

The bill seeks to reduce the current 30 percent corporate income tax rate with the following timetable: 28 percent in 2021; 26 percent in 2023; 24 percent in 2025; 22 percent in 2027; 20 percent in 2029.

It also proposes to grant fiscal incentives to registered activities of exporters and industries listed in the Strategic Investments Priority Plan. It provides subsidies through school and housing vouchers and allocates funding for universal health care.

Cua said the TRABAHO bill is a product of six hearings of his committee, one technical working group and numerous meetings with private sector participation. He assured the public that the proposal will not impose additional tax on consumer goods.

“The objective of the TRABAHO bill is to create more jobs and opportunities for our country through encouragement of the private sector to invest and grow their businesses here,” the House official assured.

Cua likewise maintained that lowering the corporate income tax will provide a big relief to the country’s small and medium enterprises that comprise about 95 percent of all corporate taxpayers in the country.

Cua said the country’s 30-percent corporate income tax is too high compared with those of the Philippines’ neighbors in Asia, like the 20-percent rate of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam and the 17-percent rate of Singapore.

INFLATION INFRASTRUCTURE TAX REFORM TAX REFORM FOR ACCELERATION AND INCLUSION
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