CTRP passage seen likely in Oct

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A House Ways and Means Committee member said the first package of the Department of Finance (DoF)-proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) may be approved by October this year, much later than the July target of the Duterte administration.

“It looks more like in October,” Albay Rep. Joey Salceda replied when asked if the July 2017 target for the
passage of the CTRP Package One is still possible.

He told participants of Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) 3rd Membership Meeting in Makati City on Thursday the passage could be later, because the House Ways and Means Committee, of which he is a vice chairperson, decided to create a technical working group (TWG) that would draw up a substitute bill consolidating the proposed reforms by the DoF with other tax-related measures by lawmakers.

The committee “approved in principle” the first phase of the CTRP on Tuesday. Approving the bill in principle means that the measure would be tackled as a package, rather than per individual proposal, which ensures that the CTRP would be discussed by the TWG in its entirety.

“The decision in the committee was to create a TWG. Hopefully, at least between now and May 2, the committee will work on the TWG,” he said.

The group, which will include members of the ways and means committee and the DoF, will discuss the concerns by stakeholders to come up with a substitute bill that would later be submitted to the committee for approval.

“Hopefully we can work through the recess … as far as the committee would like all voices heard. And we’ve actually done a lot already,” he said.

The House and Senate are going on a Lenten break from March 16 to May 1.

Package One of the CTRP is outlined in HB 4774, which aims to lower personal income tax rates while providing revenue enhancing measures which seek to reform the excise tax system for fuel and automobiles and broaden the value-added tax (VAT) base, while retaining exemptions for seniors and persons with disabilities.

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