Traders urge Duterte: Review veto of bill on investments
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Business groups have asked President Duterte to reconsider his veto of the bill creating the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordination Hub of Central Luzon that Sen. Richard Gordon initiated.
Leaders of the chambers of commerce and industry in Pampanga, Angeles City and Tarlac, and the Clark Investors and Locators Association said Duterte should take a second look at Senate Bill No. 1997 and its counterpart, House Bill No. 8637, which would create the hub.
They expressed support for the bill through a resolution signed on Thursday.
They said the creation of the hub was “intended to encourage and promote private investment in infrastructure, particularly in Central Luzon, to address development bottlenecks, to lay the foundation for long-term growth of the region, create jobs and improve the standard of living of the people of Central Luzon.”
Gordon’s bill proposed to “maximize the use of available infrastructure to unleash the economic potentials of the region.”
But in letters to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Duterte said he thumbed down the proposed law because it contained provisions that “tend to defeat [the] very objectives and policies [of his administration] in the long run.”
“In particular, the bill has several provisions which would pose substantial fiscal risks to the country and would thus be inimical to its economic growth,” Duterte said.
“Key to lasting economic development is a tax system with generally low rates and broad tax base,” he said.
The bill “significantly narrows our tax base with its mandated incentives,” the veto message said.
“In the end, it is the taxpayers all over the country, who are excluded from the tax incentives, that will bear the brunt of the burden,” Duterte said. —TONETTE OREJAS
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