SONA 2018 — During his State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that the government stands with its decision of implementing TRAIN — and it seems that this tax reform law wouldn’t be abolished anytime soon.
July 23, 2018 — President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address speech at the Batasang Pambansa Complex and as expected, aside from issues such as war on drugs, peace talks, and fight against corruption, he also shed some light on the current status of the newly implemented TRAIN law.
TRAIN Causing War of Thought
After its implementation last January of 2018, Republic Act No. 10963, aka TRAIN Law (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) had spur several debates and discussions within the PH tax community. While some stated that the TRAIN law would make taxes easier for Filipinos, others would say that the law was designed “anti-poor”, considering the provisions had resulted to rise of consumer prices such as food, gas, etc.
President Duterte Enlightening the Public
Despite the controversies surrounding TRAIN, President Duterte made it clear that the government supports this law, and that they can’t just abolish it — for they believe that this is needed in order to not only bring “sustainable growth” (due to his Build, Build, Build Project), but to also create a fair tax system in the Philippines.
In his SONA, President Duterte mentioned of how the packages of this tax reform law would change the tax system and allow businesses to invest and provide more jobs to Filipinos:
“When I ran for public office, I promised to do whatever it takes to give all filipinos a comfortable life even if it means fighting powerful interests — I am committed to a comprehensive tax reform and I ask congress to continue the job.”
“Package 2 will be lower corporate income taxes especially for our small businesses, lower taxes mean they will have more money to invest and create more jobs. More than 99% of our businesses are micro, small or medium enterprises can employ around 65% of our workers.”
President Duterte also urged the Congress to prioritize the passage of TRAIN Package 2 before the end of the year, as well as those remaining packages within the TRAIN pipeline that needs to be submitted to Congress by the end of July 2018:
“I hope to sign Package 2 before the year ends. I urge Congress to pass it in a form that satisfies our goals and serves the interests of the many, not just the wealthy few.”
“By the end of July 2018, all five packages would have been submitted to Congress,”
Other announcements made during SONA were the imposition of higher taxes when it comes to mining and other resources such as alcohol and tobacco products, as well as reform in both property valuation and capital income.
Aside from the TRAIN law and its packages, it was also announced that the government is planning to implement a tax amnesty program that will help boost revenues, thus aiding in the administration’s infrastructure projects.
JuanTax is TRAIN Ready
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