Peza to turn to Duterte for Trabaho bill concerns

By |October 11,2018 - 10:59 PM

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) has given up on asking the Department of Finance (DOF) to spare the agency from the next tax reform plan, opting instead to go directly to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Peza Director General Charito Plaza said Wednesday that she will not be bullied by government officials who asked her to shut up after expressing strong reservations against the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (Trabaho) bill.

She first made mention of this in her speech at the Economic Journalists of the Philippines (Ejap) Awards Night, where she reiterated her agency’s battle cry to maintain status quo.

“Enough of the scolding. Enough of the bullying from other leaders of the government to keep our mouth shut. I am now very vocal to speak out to the President,” she said.

On the sidelines of the event, she told reporters that she is still hoping that Mr. Duterte would understand Peza’s concerns.

Peza, she said, is more in tune with what happens on the ground, compared to “technocrats like [those in the] DOF” who only think of getting more taxes.

“I am asking for a time to talk to the President. I still hope the President would understand especially now [when] the inflation [was partly] caused by the excise taxes in [the] Train [law],” she said, referring to the first tax reform package – Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law — pushed by Duterte’s economic managers. The Train law has been in effect since January 1, 2018.

This develops as lawmakers mull over the divisive Trabaho bill, the second tax reform package of the Duterte administration.

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