Fiscal measures prioritized

LEGISLATORS WILL CONTINUE to work on fiscal measures identified as priorities by the Aquino administration but are also looking to approve new tax bills given the need to shore up revenues.

Leaders of the House of Representatives, in pledging approval of 11 bills by the end of the year, said one of these would be the Palace-backed streamlining of fiscal incentives.

“The president has not given any indication that we need new taxes,” House ways and means committee chairman Rep. Hermilando I. Mandanas (2nd district, Batangas) toldBusinessWorld earlier this week.

Mr. Mandanas tagged the fiscal incentives bill as one of the House’s priorities when the 15th Congress starts its second regular session next month, but also said his committee would be pushing for approval of the restructuring of excise taxes on so-called “sin” products.

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III pledged not to impose new taxes when he campaigned for office but officials have said the prohibition would lapse by yearend. The “sin” tax bill, which among others seeks to peg taxes to inflation, has long opposed by the tobacco and alcohol industry. It has, however, been identified by economists and multilateral institutions as a quick way of generating revenues for the cash-strapped government.

Read more at Business World


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