The Department of Finance (DoF) on Tuesday echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the Senate to pass the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act.
“With the President’s certification of the Train bill as an urgent and a priority measure, complemented by the personal appeal he made before our lawmakers in his SONA, we are hopeful that the Senate will pass the measure soon enough so that it could be implemented possibly by the third or fourth quarter of the year,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a statement on Tuesday.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte renewed his call for the Congress to urgently approve the proposed bill.
The President said that the measure was designed to be “pro-poor, especially when the people understand how the revenues will be spent.”
He said the “poor and vulnerable are at the heart of tax reform” and congressional support for the Train will ensure that its benefits “can be felt immediately” by these sectors.
The House of Representatives approved the proposed Train Act or House Bill 5636 on May 31. The Senate was expected to tackle the bill after the second regular session of the 17th Congress opened on Monday.
The proposed law may generate potential net revenue of P1.16 trillion from 2018 to 2022.
Total revenue gains are forecast at more than P2 trillion by the end of the term of the Duterte administration, while revenue losses would total P961.8 billion in the same period.
Dominguez said the Train bill, once passed into law, will ensure a steady revenue flow for the government’s massive infrastructure buildup and guarantee a “breakout growth rate” of above 7 percent that will be sustained over the medium-term.
This robust pace of growth will, in turn, enable the government to reduce the poverty rate from 21.6 percent to a significantly lower 14 percent by the time President Duterte leaves office in 2022, making the benefits of growth inclusive for all Filipinos, Dominguez said.