RP Finance department prepares new tax agenda for next president

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BY KATRINA MENNEN A. VALDEZ Reporter

DESPITE his avowed opposition to new taxes, the Philippines’ Department of Finance will ask presidential front-runner Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to certify as urgent three revenue measures that Congress has failed to pass into law.

The finance department also will seek Aquino’s support in limiting the role of some government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) to regulation, to minimize the annual state subsidy to these entities.

Ranking finance officials are holding a series of meetings in preparation for the transitory briefing with the president-elect.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said that the incoming administration would have to work on striking a balance between strengthening its tax collection administration and passing new revenue enhancing measures.

“In the event that the incoming administration manages to further improve the efficiency in collecting taxes then fewer tax reforms could be enacted,” Beltran said.

He said Congress, however, has to re-file and pass into law three revenue-enhancing measures that the finance department earlier pushed. These bills are the rationalization of fiscal incentives, restructuring of excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, as well as the simplified net income taxation scheme for individuals and professionals.

“These three revenue enhancing measures including the planned hike on value-added tax to 15 percent from 12 percent could neutralize the several tax cut measures that were passed during the last three years,” Beltran said.

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