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Duterte thumbs down Central Luzon investment hub bill

/ 04:34 PM March 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed a bill seeking to create the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub (RICH) for Central Luzon.

The bill, which was proposed by Senator Richard Gordon, intends to establish RICH in place of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council. It was also envisioned to woo infrastructure development in Central Luzon by offering tax incentives to investors.

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In his veto message dated March 13, Duterte said: “the bill has several provisions which would pose substantial fiscal risk to the country and are thus inimical to its economic growth.”

“A key lasting economic growth is a tax system with generally low rates and a broad tax base. The subject bill, on the other hand, significantly narrows our tax base with its mandated incentives applicable to the registered enterprises in an entire region,” Duterte said.

“This renders the whole system incapable to registered enterprises, and this would necessitate finding new sources of revenue through additional taxes or borrowings in the future,” he added.

The President stressed that the taxpayers, who are excluded from the tax incentives, will be the ones to “bear the brunt of the burden.”

Duterte also noted that the proposed measure would maintain the proposed fiscal incentives for 50 years, which can be extended for another 50 years.

“Prolonging such a situation for half a century or more likely is to bring negative revenue and fiscal implications to succeeding administrations and unnecessarily burden future generations,” he said.

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TAGS: Central Luzon, Philippine News, Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub (RICH), Rodrigo Duterte
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