PBBM admin working with Congress to pass ‘game-changing’ fiscal laws

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

April 4, 2024, 2:43 pm

<p>Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. (File photo)

MANILA – The Marcos administration is working with Congress to ensure the enactment of “game-changing” tax legislations aimed at propelling economic growth, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Thursday.

“For 2024, the economic team will strongly advocate for the enactment of much-needed next-generation reforms to further enable the transformation of our economy and ensure sustained and inclusive growth,” Balisacan said in a Palace press briefing.

Balisacan said the current administration would push for enhanced tax administration reforms aimed at modernizing and enhancing the efficiency of the Philippine tax system.

He said there is “a lot of space” to improve the tax administration in the country.

He said the government would be “realistic” when it identifies the tax measures needed to make the Philippine economy grow faster.

“You know, it can improve the tax administration, as well as those low hanging fruits in new tax measures,” Balisacan said. “The other one is, as I said, a country like us can address the debt problem if it’s able to achieve growth.”

Balisacan said the Executive branch is in close coordination with Congress to make the economy “more efficient” and “more effective” through the passage of new fiscal measures.

He noted that the Legislative-Executive Development Council earlier agreed to pass priority debt and the fiscal measures.

“We are working hard with our partners in Congress to pass game-changing laws across various sectors, and we seek to make good on our promise of delivering on the Executive and Legislative's Common Legislative Agenda,” Balisacan said.

“We will complement these measures by working with Congress to pass priority tax reform measures to recalibrate and further improve revenue mobilization and ultimately be more attuned to the country's fiscal requirements and current domestic developments,” he added.

In a separate statement, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said enhanced tax administration reforms focused on modernizing and upgrading the efficiency of the Philippine tax system could improve the government’s revenue performance.

Among the reforms mentioned by the DBCC were the value-added tax on non-resident digital service providers; the imposition of excise tax on single-use plastics; the Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program; the rationalization of the mining fiscal regime; and the reform on the motor vehicle users’ charge.

“This will be complemented by revenue reform measures that were recalibrated to further improve revenue mobilization and ultimately, be more attuned to the country’s fiscal requirements and current domestic developments,” the DBCC said.

As a result of improved tax administration and recalibrated revenue measures, the DBCC said borrowings would be complemented by an upsurge in revenue collections over the medium term.

“This will ultimately allow taxpayers such as consumers and businesses to have more headroom to spend out of their income,” it said. (PNA)