Tax reforms crucial to improve PH competitiveness – execs
Digong’s plans in Sona on income taxes, banking secrecy and MSMEs lauded
Business leaders in Cebu welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to reduce corporate and personal income taxes and create a simpler tax system in the country.
Melanie Ng, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president, said she especially liked the part when President Duterte, during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), said he would pursue a more equitable and more efficient tax system to foster investment and job creation.
“This will surely level the playing field with our Asean neighbors and foster global competitiveness,” Ng said.
Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph, Cebu Business Club president, said Duterte’s proposed tax reforms would be critical for improving the competitiveness of the country, considering that the Philippines had one of the highest tax rates in Asia.
“Fight corruption in BIR and Customs to compensate (for) the loss brought by lowering of tax rates and tax brackets of personal and corporate,” said Maximo Rey Eleccion, Cebu Bankers Club president, who also welcomed the lowering of corporate and personal income taxes.
The Cebu Bankers’ Club likewise welcomed President Duterte’s plan to relax bank secrecy in the Philippines.
“Bankers are law abiding. We obey and implement banking laws,” Eleccion said.
He, however, cautioned the government to maintain peace and order because relaxing bank secrecy might lead to an increase in the number of cases of theft, robbery, and kidnap for ransom, among others.
He also said this move might also shy away investors or depositors from banking in the country so the government must find a way to strike a balance as well.
Glenn Soco, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry incoming president, said his call to Congress to look into a federal form of government would surely benefit the countryside and would make distribution of our government resources equitable.
Overall, Soco said, they welcomed the president’s message because it had given them optimism that meaningful change could be done in government.
It was a unifying message that touched on the very core of every Filipino to love the country and change for the better, said Soco about Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address yesterday.
Among the other plans that Duterte promised to pursue and that had given Cebu business leaders optimism included his thrust to accelerate infrastructure spending, ease the requirements of doing business, support the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and invest in human capital.
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