PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is “open” to a Senate move to amend the comprehensive tax reform package, a lawmaker from the upper chamber said on Wednesday.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the President has realized that the Senate as a collegial body would have to seek the views of each senator. “He is open to amendments.”
The President, during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), had asked Congress to pass the proposed tax reform measure “in full.”
“The President accepted that the Senate would retain flexibility insofar as finally deciding the amounts of taxes. Generally, the need for a reform in our tax structure is accepted,” Drilon said.
“My impression is that the president left it to the good judgment of the legislature, in consultation of course with the Department of Finance as to what is the appropriate tax structure that we will finally pass,” he added.
The President met with eight senators, including Drilon, on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his legislative agenda and brief them on the peace and order situation in Mindanao.
Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said he believed that the President was amenable to tweak the tax reform bill after he told Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara not to seriously take his “warning” during his SONA.
“Ang dating sa akin, personal reading ko kay Presidente, payag siya sa tweak. Payag siyang likutin namin. Hindi niya sinasabi na (ipasa) in full. (My personal reading of the President is that he is amenable to tweak. He will allow us to scrutinize it. He did not say to pass it in full),” Sotto said in a radio interview.