• Mindanao council backs tax reform plan


    THE Mindanao Business Council Inc. (MBCI) has given its full backing to the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program, describing it as “starting point” to the attainment of the Philippines’s full economic prosperity by 2040.

    Vicente Lao, MBCI chairman, said that President Duterte’s vision of significantly reducing poverty by 2022 and completely eradicating it 2040, or 24 years from now, “is a dream we share and we will commit to working towards it.”

    Lao said the MBCI is one with the Department of Finance (DOF) in making the tax system simpler, fairer and more efficient, which would be achieved by the first package of reforms it had submitted to Congress last September.

    This first package involves reducing personal income tax (PIT) rates, expanding the tax base and adjusting the excise taxes on petroleum products and automobiles, with certain exceptions.

    In a statement, the MBCI said that, “As partners for change, we, the Mindanao Business Council, fully support the Duterte Administration’s comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP), spearheaded by DOF.”

    “We believe that the program, comprising several packages beginning with the first package submitted to Congress in September 2016, will simplify and correct the inefficiency and inequity of our tax system. More importantly, we believe that the CTRP is fiscally sound, responsible, and will address the development needs of our country, which are particularly acute in Mindanao,” the MBCI said.

    “The long-delayed development of Mindanao can be attained by securing peace and investing in the future, particularly rural development. These are at the heart of President Duterte’s economic policy, which we continue to support and seek to advance,” it added.

    Lao said the Mindanao business community is also backing the DOF’s proposal to broaden the VAT base by reducing unnecessary exemptions and “insidious sources of revenue leakage.”

    Keeping in mind the need to exercise fiscal prudence and responsibility in instituting tax policy reforms, the MBCI said it is also supporting the DOF proposal to adjust the excise taxes on automobiles and fuel.


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