Passage of 2nd tax reform package urged

Economists support plan to lower corporate income taxes, rationalize incentives

Prominent economists have urged Congress to immediately pass the proposed second tax reform package aimed at reducing the corporate income tax rate while rationalizing the fiscal incentives being enjoyed by investors, the Department of Finance said Monday.

“We express our support for the main principle of a corporate tax system that is broad-based and competitive relative to our peers in the region,” the DOF quoted a group of economists comprised of Arsenio Balisacan, Romeo Bernardo, Dante Canlas, Gilberto Llanto, Felipe Medalla, Renato Reside Jr., Gerardo Sicat and Bruce Tolentino as saying.

“However, in the interest of fiscal prudence, the lowering of rates should be in conjunction with the rationalization of fiscal incentives,” they added in their joint statement of support.

They said tax perks “are public investments, and that their benefits should accrue to the Filipino people.”

“We stand with the Department of Finance and the Department of Trade and Industry that tax incentives should be performance-based, time-bound, targeted, and transparent,” they added.

Last week, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said tax perks given away to businesses—in turn, foregone revenues for the national government—totaled P376 billion from 2015 to 2016.