MANILA (Mabuhay) -– After years of debates, the government is finally ready to submit to Congress this week the proposed rationalization of tax incentives, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“We’ve reached agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry, finally,” Purisima said during the hearing of the Senate committee on finance when Senate President Franklin Drilon asked about the proposed measure.
“Oh, finally after four years,” Drilon answered.
“Yes sir, after many, many years, we’re submitting this week the revised common version of the bill that we’ve agreed to with the Department of Trade and Industry,” Purisima said.
He said that if passed into law, the proposed measure is estimated to generate P30 billion over a period of time.
But when Drilon asked if the government is also open to a review of the tax brackets, the Finance chief said Congress should first pass the proposed fiscal incentives rationalization bill before reviewing the tax brackets.
Purisima though said they would prefer a “comprehensive review” of the tax measures.
But Drilon insisted that a review of the tax brackets could also be done simultaneous with the rationalization of tax incentives.
“Because it’s inequitable that we have not reviewed this tax bracket since 1977. Since 1977… were still using the same bracket,” said the Senate leader.
Purisima pointed out that debating the fiscal incentives bill alone already took 19 years.
“Baka naman mga half of that—nine years itong ating tax bracket,” Drilon said.
(This new tax bracket might take half as long as that or nine years.)
“We hope to finish it within the last next two years,” Purisima said of the proposed review of the tax brackets.
“Sabi mo pwedeng isabay natin. Can we have some idea, can we have strategy here so that we’ll consider this together. I commit to you we will not pass the tax bracket review without plugging the loopholes on the rationalization of tax incentives…” Drilon added. (MNS)