• Tax reforms, infra top Duterte agenda

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    COUNT CRAWLS ON Volunteers for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting continue tabulating votes at the Pope Pius Center in Manila four days after the elections. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

    The economic agenda of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte will focus on tax reforms, rural development, ramping up infrastructure spending and attracting more foreign investments, among others, a member of his transition team disclosed on Thursday.

    Carlos Dominguez, former Agriculture secretary, bared the incoming administration’s eight-point economic agenda.

    He said Duterte will continue current macro-economic policies.

    There will be reforms in the tax revenue collection by the Internal Revenue and Customs bureaus, however.

    “This will fulfill the President-elect’s promise that there will be less corruption in the government,” Dominguez said in a televised news conference in southern Davao City, where Duterte is the mayor.

    He added that infrastructure spending will be accelerated to create jobs.

    This will be done, according to Dominguez, by addressing, among others, major bottlenecks in the Public-Private Partnership or PPP program.

    The Duterte administration will set aside five percent of the country’s gross domestic product or GDP for infrastructure spending, Dominguez said.

    The new administration will also “ensure attractiveness of the Philippines to foreign direct investments by addressing restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and our laws and enhancing competitiveness of doing business in the Philippines.”

    Dominguez said the government will speed up issuance of business licenses and reduce crime “to increase the security of businessmen and consumers.”

    He added that the Duterte administration will pursue genuine agricultural development by providing support services to small farmers “to increase their productivity, improve their market access and develop the agricultural value chain by forging partnership with agribusiness firms.”

    “It also means that we are going to encourage more agricultural processing in the agricultural areas,” Dominguez said, adding that tourism in rural areas will be promoted.

    Next on the agenda is addressing bottlenecks in land administration and management system.

    “Security of land tenure is very important because it encourages foreign investment in the rural areas,” Dominguez pointed out.

    The new government, he said, will strengthen basic education and provide college scholarships.

    There will be changes in the tax system to reduce the “tax bite” on ordinary workers.
    Dominguez explained that the incoming administration will make the tax system more progressive by basing taxes on the inflation rate.

    “These tax tables were made years ago when P500,000 was more than what P500,000 meant now. So now, if you earn P500,000, automatically you are taxed 32 percent. And if you spend say 80 percent of that, you are taxed another 12 percent from VAT [valued-added tax],” he said.

    “The tax bite should be lower for those earning P500,000 today because that is less than what it was in real value to what the value was when the tax tables were made,” Dominguez further explained.

    Duterte will expand the anti-poverty Conditional Cash Transfer Program initiated by the Arroyo administration that had been expanded during the Aquino administration.

    “These are the broad outlines of the economic policies that the new administration will pursue,” Dominguez said.

    Duterte also plans to expand the coverage of the Philippine Health Insurance System or PhilHealth, he added.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday signed Administrative Order (AO) 49 establishing a Presidential Transition Committee to “ensure a peaceful, orderly and effective transition” of power to the incoming administration on June 30.

    The committee will be headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

    Its members will be the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority; the secretaries of the Budget, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Public Works departments; and the head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

    The Presidential Management Staff will provide secretariat support to the newly-formed committee.

    Under AO 49, all government agencies shall create their respective Agency Transition Committees to be headed by the units’ chiefs.

    WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO

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    10 Comments

    1. How we wish to see some significant/critical economic reforms initiated by our presumptive President Duterte, his economic devt road map will surely result to positive reforms in terms of Economic Devt. just imagine even if he’ll just minimize if not iradicate corruption in govt. this already a big factor plus the Drugs and Criminality. moreso, fastracking some transactions in govt by cutting some unnecessary delays due to bureacracy am sure Philippines will be like other fast developing asian Countries. GO GO GO Digong we really need a strong leader like you with clear Goals and Objectives as what you did in Davao City. God Bless! !

    2. juandelacruz on

      The best President the Philippines ever had.President Rodrigo Roa Duterte Genuine change is at hand.

    3. Please look into the requirements of the FDA, a lot of them are unnecessary and are also illegal.
      BTW, how do you intend to address complaint of corruption?

    4. Strengthen municipal or provincial public market set up, that is almost comparable to big supermarket like SM, Robinsons, Ayalas, etc. That everybody have access to quality and affordable goods or products–not only the elite. This is the same as in modern economy (in Asia) like Japan, Singapore, HongKong; which they call “wet market”–but cleaner as the big supermarket.

    5. Looks like he will be doing a good job and make his critics wrong like trillantes. More power to president duterte. This is the quality of leaders we need.

    6. Although the market system is free enterprise, the program should protect mom and pop stores, tiendas, palengkes and small family businesses. These days, their tiny businesses are being swallowed or just get killed by big commercial stores and malls. Big businesses can “negotiate” taxes and tariffs. Small ones just can’t. They either pay what is levied on them or close shops. Give them a break.

    7. Let us all rally behind the new president and give all the support we can so he effect the changes to reform our flawed system. It is very laudable that he is going to make changes to the restrictive economic provisions of the economic laws which the plutocrats/oligarchs enshrined in the constitution to protect their own interest. THIRTY YEARS AFTER EDSA 1, there is no industrial base needed to propel development. The 6.2% annual growth being touted by this government is largely due to the HOT MONEY coming in to take advantage of the money markets and the steady inflow of remittances from OFWs.. Philippines got the lowest FDIs among the ASEAN countries due to corruption, restrictive economic laws and a flawed government.

    8. to our presumptive excelllency mayor, there should be complaint desk , to accommodate/validate our complain regarding funds expenditure to any project kasi karamihan sa government project almost 50% nalang narealize. nabulsa yong 50%. iba wala na.. kasi po picturan lang ibang proyecto ng iba ok na.. Ang magvalidate from top government , bayaran ,approved lahat accomplishment report..

    9. Pls do not allow BIG companies to kill small enterpreneurs, ie sari2 stores, carinderia, market. Manufacurers/Distributors should allow small enterpreneurs (by showing permit,licenses) to buy bulk directly from them at special rates so they can compete against SM and the likes.

    10. I have a foreigner friend who live in Singapore since the island state was born. He told me that the first thing Prime Minister told his cabinet and government employees was ” WE ALL WILL RECEIVED SALARIES WHICH WE AND OUR FAMILIES WILL LIVE COMORTABLY BUT NOT LUXUORIOUSLY. HOWEVER, I DON’T WANT TO RECEIVE ANY COMPLAIN THAT ANYONE OF US IS ENGAGING IN GRAFT AND CORRUPTION “.
      Mayor-President Duterte, please review the salaries of all government officials from top (you as our president) down to the lowly janitor. This, I am sure will minimize if not totally eradicate graft and corruption.
      Please review also how local government issue business permits. It will take a new business at least one month to get a permit and a renewal two weeks due to many red tapes.
      Also, please give the poor chance those who would like to set up a business like a sari-sari store a tax free and business permit free. After the war, many Chinese-Filipino set up this kind of business and are now the reaches in the country, Mr. Henry Sy. My aunt was able to sent her six children to college due to her sari-sari store.
      Let those poor Filipinos with small capital to set up a business like sari-sari store a yearly fixed tax and a minimal fee barangay permit.