UPDATE: Duterte asked: Talk more
on economy, tax reform bill, infrastructure


ANALYSTS expect President Rodrigo Duterte to talk more on economic reforms during his second State of the Nation Address later on Monday.

“We want to hear the President talk more on the economy, touching on the tax reform bill, the infrastructure push and other areas of legislation the Palace requires to push its agenda,” Philstocks.ph senior research analyst Justino Calaycay Jr. said.

“He will also submit the 2018 spending plan and we will likely hear the salient points,” he added, referring to the proposed P3.8-trillion 2018 National Budget to be submitted to Congress this morning.

For IHS Markit Asia Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas, he said that President Duterte would likely highlight key economic policy measures his government was taking to boost the economy.

“The comprehensive tax reform package is a key reform being introduced by the Duterte government, with changes to personal income tax as well as the VAT [value-added tax] system,” he said.

Biswas also stressed that another major economic policy focus of his administration would be to ramp up infrastructure spending, and President Duterte was likely to highlight the progress of initiatives to accelerate infrastructure spending.

Calaycay and Biswas echoed Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, and Antonio “Butch” Valdes of the Save the Nation Movement.

In an interview with The Manila Times, Casiple said that aside from his accomplishments in the last 12 months, Duterte should include in his speech the direction of the government in delivering better social services.

Valdes said the President should discuss salient parts of his economic programs, particularly on energy and how he was planning to bring down the cost of electricity in the country.

READ: War vs poverty should top SONA — analysts



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