Strong Philippine economic fundamentals, positive growth highlighted
Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua emphasized this is the first time in the country’s history where the tax reform program aims to bring down poverty and inequality.
Interaksyon/File
Strong Philippine economic fundamentals, positive growth highlighted
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines expressed hope it will graduate from a lower-middle income to an upper-middle income country within the Duterte administration.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua emphasized this is the first time in the country’s history where the tax reform program aims to bring down poverty and inequality.

Chua highlighted the strong macroeconomic fundamentals and continuous positive growth of the Philippine economy during the “Power Hour: Philippines-Japan Economic Relations” seminar held recently at the Philippine embassy in Tokyo.

Over 90 participants from more than 40 private companies, business chambers, government agencies and the media were present during the seminar.

Chua explained the salient provisions of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill.

Chua said the measure aims to lower the corporate income tax rate gradually from 30 to 20 percent, while broadening the tax base by making fiscal incentives performance-based, targeted, time-bound and transparent.

Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba explained the Philippine government’s efforts to align TRABAHO’s Strategic Investment Priorities Plan with the Philippines’ Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy.

To sustain the Philippines’ growth, Aldaba said it is important to have globally competitive and innovate industries supported by a comprehensive incentive package comparable with the country’s neighbors.

The “Power Hour” provided a platform for consultation between the Philippine government and Japanese investors, business personalities and the media to discuss the impact of the proposed tax reform on the Philippine investment environment.

An initiative of the Philippine embassy, the “Power Hour” is a series of roundtable discussions on Philippines-Japan economic relations, particularly on trade, investment, infrastructure and tourism.

The first “Power Hour” was held in September 2018 with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who spoke on quality infrastructure for sustainable connectivity.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has launched a program across the country to distribute common service facilities as part of the government’s plan to reduce the poverty incidence from 21 percent to 14 percent before 2022.

Among these facilities are new dump trucks recently awarded to 10 agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs).

“What we want to happen is for the farmers to make their lands productive,” DAR Secretary John Castriciones said. – With Rhodina Villanueva, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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