Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo spoke with him after the House on Monday passed its version of TRAIN 2 and requested him to look at the approved measure that may be acceptable to senators.
Geremy Pintolo/File
Senate in no hurry to approve TRAIN 2
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate will not rush the passage of the proposed second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN 2) bill but will pick what the chamber believes are beneficial provisions in the House of Representatives’ version of the revenue measure, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.

Sotto said Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo spoke with him after the House on Monday passed its version of TRAIN 2 and requested him to look at the approved measure that may be acceptable to senators.

“If it is going to be beneficial, if it will not redound to additional problems on taxes or might contribute again to inflation, we will definitely support it,” Sotto told reporters.

He said he asked Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, to study the House version and compare it with the bill in the Senate.

Sotto last July filed his version of TRAIN 2 after his colleagues refused to touch it.

He said his version emphasized the reduction of the corporate income tax from 30 percent to 25 percent and also sought to rationalize fiscal incentives, except for businesses in economic zones “because they are investment-driven.”

Removing tax incentives for companies in economic zones could mean loss of jobs, Sotto said, adding he amended the version pushed by the Department of Finance (DOF) to increase its chances of being passed in the Senate.

He said there was no rush in the Senate to pass the tax bill.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto earlier asked the DOF to temporarily suspend pushing Congress to pass the TRAIN 2. 

“It’s bad timing. The looming trade war and conflicts around the world will affect the global economy. I suggest our economic managers anticipate both threats and opportunities,” Recto said.

He warned TRAIN 2 could further increase prices of good, increase costs for business and “will not attract investments at this time.” 

Under Sotto’s version, the existing investment tax incentives shall not be removed, but will be rationalized.

He said 654 firms have been enjoying incentives from the government for the past 20 to 30 years based on official records.

HOUSE SENATE TAX REFORM FOR ACCELERATION AND INCLUSION
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