THE House of Representatives’ committee on ways and means on Wednesday approved the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act (CITIRA) bill, the second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program of the Duterte administration.
Voting 27-2, the panel headed by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, approved House Bill 313, a substitute for the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (Trabaho) Bill, which seeks to provide lower corporate tax from 30 percent to 20 percent after 10 years.
It also aims to rationalize tax incentives by making them performance-based, targeted, time bound and transparent, said
Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua, said one of the panel’s resource persons.
“Every peso granted as tax incentive is a peso off the budget that could have been spent for infrastructure, health, education, and social protection that benefit all, and not only a few,” said Chua.
He, however, said that more than tax incentives, the government must also ensure a skilled and hardworking talent pool that would need sufficient human capital investments, infrastructure development program that would require fiscal commitment, and a sizeable small and medium enterprise community that deserves to be treated fairly through easier doing business process.
Despite opposition from Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate of the Makabayan bloc, the ways and means committee had endorsed the measure for plenary deliberations invoking Section 48 of the House Rules as this was initially approved on third and final reading in the 17th Congress.
Section 48 seeks to fast-track priority bills that have been approved on third reading but had failed to hurdle that last Congress.
On Tuesday, the panel also approved HB 1026 with a vote of 43-0 seeking an increase in excise tax rates on alcohol products.
Salceda said the lower chamber seeks to prioritize measures that were based from the outcome of the pre-Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) a few weeks ago.