Pres. Duterte’s Tax Reform Package the “Biggest Chistmas & New Year’s Gift to Filipinos”

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The tough talking President of the Republic of the Philippines, Pres. Rody Duterte signed the 2018 National Budget or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill on Tuesday in Malacanang. The Department of Finance dubbed the GAA and TRAIN as the “Biggest Christmas & New Year’s Gift to all Filipinos.”

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III described the tax reform package as the biggest Christmas gift as it will usher in “real positive change” for the nation beginning in 2018. The 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) amounted to P3.767 Trillion.

Sen. Loren Legarda said that the P3.7 trillion national budget for 2018 is the highest allocation by any administration.

The veteran lady senator also added that “No less than credit rating agency Fitch Ratins, which upgraded the Philippines’ long-term credit rating from BBB- to BBB, said that it expects the country’s fiscal profile to improve due to the TRAIN law. I am optimistic that the 2018 GAA and TRAIN law ill both usher in more sable growth for the country, growth that is sustainable, resilient and inclusive,” Legarda said.

Based upon the GAA, social services remain to have the biggest share of the budget pie, with 38.7 percent; followed by economic services, 30.5 percent; general public services, 16.4 percent; debt burden, 9.8 percent; and defense allocation, 4.6 percent.

Finance secretary Dominguez also explained the benefits of TRAIN, the congressional passage of the first package of TRAIN, which Pres. Duterte signed into law, is a “sign of maturity” for the Philippine economy that is now ready to meet the challenges of fixing the structural problems and inequities in taxation.

The TRAIN provides for personal income tax (PIT) exemptions, the first P250,000 of taxable income along with other significant PIT cuts for other tax brackets, provides Filipino taxpayers with “much-needed relief” after 20 years of no adjustment on the rates.

Dominguez revealed that base on preliminary computations show that the government would be giving “almost P150 billion” back to the people in the form of tax relief under the TRAIN.

Source: PNA

Ed Umbao

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