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3 tax bills face rough sailing – Imee Marcos

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:31 AM August 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Three pending administration tax bills face rough sailing in Congress because of the tight schedule, the complexity of the issue and the 2022 elections, according to Sen. Imee Marcos.

Marcos, chair of the Senate’s economic affairs committee, doubted that the tax bills could be passed within the 15- to 18-month time frame envisioned by the Department of Finance (DOF).

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“It’s a very, very tight schedule. These are very complicated and very controversial measures — basta tax medyo madugo, kaya tingnan natin (taxes are always bloody so let’s see),” Marcos told economic reporters after a DOF briefing on the third and fourth tax bills.

“Best effort,” Marcos said. “[Senate ways and means committee] chair Pia [Cayetano] is really a fighter even if it’s hard but it will be rough sailing for sure.”

Marcos noted that the administration’s still-pending second tax bill, called Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities, has already raised fears that cuts on tax incentives may lead to loss of jobs if investors pull out.

From the point of view of a former local government official like her, Marcos said a third proposal to reform the property valuation system “looks good.”

But it would likely be a “struggle” to pass a fourth measure on passive income and financial taxes in Congress because the bill would impact the stock market, she said.

Marcos, who was Ilocos Norte governor before being elected senator, said she would support new excise taxes on alcohol, like the new taxes on tobacco products.

“We really feel that tobacco is being beaten up. Why are we beaten up time and again?” said Marcos, whose province is a major tobacco producer.

The government wants to progressively increase the taxes on fermented liquor, distilled spirits, sparkling and other wines every year until 2024.

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TAGS: Department of Finance, Imee Marcos, tax bills
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