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House OKs TRABAHO bill (TRAIN 2) on final reading

/ 04:20 PM September 10, 2018

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill — the second tranche of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program.

With 187 voting in the affirmative, 14 in the negative, and 3 abstentions, the lower chamber has adopted House Bill 8083.

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The bill aims to gradually cut the corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 30 percent to 20 percent over 10 years and to rationalize fiscal incentives for foreign and local businesses.

Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, the bill’s principal author and the committee on ways and means’ chair, earlier said the bill would not impose an additional tax on consumer goods.

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“The objective of the TRABAHO bill is to create more jobs and opportunities for our country through the encouragement of the private sector to invest and grow their businesses here,” he added.

READ: Makabayan bloc: TRAIN 2 is pro-rich, anti-poor sequel of tax reform package

Opposition

However, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate reiterated that the TRABAHO bill is “anti-poor and pro-rich.”

“No ang boto ng Bayan Muna sa panukalang TRAIN 2 ng administrasyong Duterte. Hindi na po tayo papayag na magkaroon ng Sagasa The Sequel mula sa tax reform program na anti-mahirap at pro-mayaman,” he said.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano meanwhile slammed the approval of the bill, while the “country and the Filipino people are still reeling with the effects of the TRAIN Law” and the high inflation rate.

“In the midst of the overwhelming rates of inflation, increase in the prices of major commodities, and the staggering increase in the price of oil, this chamber swiftly and indifferently approved the proposed measure,” he pointed out.

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Alejano also said instead of inviting investors, the bill would force companies to relocate resulting to capital flight, massive job losses, and lower production output and exports.

House Bill 8083 specifically seeks to reduce the current 30 percent CIT rate per two years, with the following timetable:

  • 28 percent in 2021;
  • 26 percent in 2023;
  • 24 percent in 2025;
  • 22 percent in 2027; and
  • 20 percent in 2029.

It also proposes to grant fiscal incentives to registered activities of exporters and industries listed in the Strategic Investments Priority Plan.

Reps. Zarate, Alejano, Lito Atienza, Jorge Banal, John Christopher Belmonte, Gabriel Bordado, Jr., Arlene Brosas, Ariel Casilao, France Castro, Raul Daza, Sarah Elago, Edcel Lagman, Romero Quimbo, and Tom Villarin rejected the bill.

Reps. Teddy Baguilat, Arnolfo Teves, and Manuel Zubiri, meanwhile, abstained.

The chamber approved the bill on second reading last Sept. 4.   /vvp

READ: House OKs ‘Trabaho’ bill on 2nd reading

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