Duterte camp unveils 8-point economic agenda
The camp of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday bared the economic agenda of his administration.
Speaking to reporters in a televised press conference, businessman Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III presented an 8-point economic agenda of Duterte under his government.
Duterte earlier said that he wanted Dominguez to be his finance secretary. A campaign finance head during the Duterte campaign, Dominguez previously served as a Cabinet secretary of former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos.
Dominguez said among Duterte’s economic agenda would be to improve the income tax system in the country “to make it progressive.”
“We will improve the income tax system to make it progressive to enable those who earned a little to have more money in their pockets,” he said.
He said the income tax system would be adjusted to rising inflation.
“These tax tables were made many years ago when P500,000 meant more than what P500,000 means now. So right now, if you earn P500,000, automatically, you will be taxed 32 percent. And if you spend, say 80 percent of that, you are taxed another 12 percent from VAT,” he said.
“So, your effective tax rate is about 38 up to 40 percent. So, we will index that to inflation and say that you know maybe now what P500,000 was then is equivalent to a million pesos now, so the tax bite should be lower for those earning P500,000 today,” he added.
During his administration, President Benigno Aquino III has opposed calls to lower personal and corporate income taxes.
Mr. Aquino has said that lowering income tax may lead to a budgetary deficit and negative credit ratings from international agencies.
However, the incoming Duterte administration has vowed to improve the country’s tax system along with other economic policies that would uplift the country’s economy.
Here are the 8-point economic agenda under the Duterte administration: (1) Continue and maintain the current macroeconomic policies of the Aquino government; (2) Accelerate infrastructure spending by addressing bottlenecks in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program; (3) Ensure attractiveness of the Philippines to foreign-direct investments by addressing the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and our laws in enhancing competitiveness of doing business in our economy; (4) Pursue a genuine agriculture development strategy by providing support services to small farmers and rural development; (5) Address bottlenecks in land administration and management systems; (6) Improve the income tax system to make it progressive; (7) Expand and improve the implementation of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) by considering inflation; and (8) Strengthen basic education system and provide scholarships for the tertiary education.
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