President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses for a photo with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (second from left seated), House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (rightmost seated) and other lawmakers following the Ceremonial Signing of the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) at the Malacañan Palace on December 19, 2017. (Photo by Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo)
By Leslie Gatpolintan
MANILA -- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) welcomes the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill, noting its implementation will benefit majority of Filipinos and boost the achievement of economic growth targets.
TRAIN, which was signed Tuesday by President Rodrigo Duterte, is the first package of the government’s proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which is seen to generate additional revenue to fund the country’s investment requirements.
“The implementation of TRAIN is essential as it will increase the spending capacity of the average working Filipino, boost revenue-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio and fund government’s infrastructure and human capital investment program,” said NEDA Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a statement.
The TRAIN bill exempts those with an annual income of PHP250,000 and below from personal income tax, and also adjusts excise taxes on fuel and automobiles.
“As we look forward to TRAIN’s implementation next year, we will continue to rally for the full implementation of the CTRP to promote equity, and raise the needed revenues for government’s programs and projects especially in infrastructure, education and health,” said Pernia.
With the CTRP, NEDA’s analysis shows that real gross domestic product (GDP) will be higher by 0.5 to 1.1 percent by year 2022.
Meanwhile, the NEDA also welcomes the passage of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2018, which was also signed by Duterte Tuesday.
The 2018 GAA proposes a national budget of PHP3.7 trillion, 12 percent higher than last year’s budget.
“With the passing of TRAIN and the 2018 GAA, we are well on track in reaching our medium-term targets. These are in line with the development strategies in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, which identifies tax reform, infrastructure development, and human capital investment as priorities,” he added. (PNA)
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