July 21, 2021

Continuation of changes to address potential economic concerns is guaranteed.

Secretary of the Department of Finance Carlos Dominguez III has promised the future government that the Duterte presidency would continue to fight for reforms and will help it in handling any fiscal and economic concerns the nation may face in the post-pandemic period.

The Duterte administration will continue to work with Congress to pass laws aimed at further liberalizing the economy, instituting additional tax reforms, and deepening the Philippines’ capital markets, he said, citing adequate financial resources and several measures already in place to help the country recover strongly from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to Dominguez, the national government will continue its current digital changes in the tax agencies to guarantee that they meet the efficiency of the world’s finest comparable institutions.

Dominguez repeated his appeal for Congress to approve changes to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), the Public Service Act (PSA), and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) to guarantee the economy’s long-term recovery and attract additional foreign investments (RTLA).

“A closed-minded approach toward foreign investments brings us nothing. With the continuing globalization of supply chains, we must either liberalize faster or risk being left behind,” Dominguez remarked via Zoom at the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX7th )’s general membership meeting on Wednesday.

“Dead economic orthodoxies should no longer be a burden on our economy. He went on to say, “We must open up to the most mutually advantageous agreements we can obtain from the rest of the world.”

According to Dominguez, the remaining comprehensive tax reform packages — the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act or RPVARA (Package 3) and the Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Taxation Act or PIFITA — should be passed by Congress to ensure the country’s fiscal stability and boost the Philippine economy’s resilience against future economic shocks (Package 4).

Package 3 seeks to expand the tax base for national and local governments’ property-related taxes by adopting globally recognized valuation standards, while Package 4 strives to make passive income and financial intermediary taxes simpler, fairer, and more efficient.

The Department of Finance (DOF) will also work with Congress to pass military and uniformed personnel pension reform, which will keep the system fundable, manageable, and fiscally sustainable in the long run, as well as the proposed Capital Market Development Act (CMDA), which aims to deepen domestic capital markets by establishing a sustainable corporate pension system, according to Dominguez.

This package of suggested changes works in tandem with the other game-changing policies in place to re-establish the economy’s high-growth trajectory.

These measures, according to Dominguez, include the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, which will allow banks to unload non-performing loans and assets in order to strengthen their lending capacity; and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), which will not only leave more cash resources for firms to sustain employment or use for investments, but will also position the country to recover from the financial crisis.

To guarantee the economy’s safe reopening, Dominguez said that the government has the funds to get more than enough vaccinations to inoculate 100 percent of the adult population and children, as well as booster doses if necessary.

“The only thing holding up our immunization campaign is a scarcity of vaccines across the world,” Dominguez said.

He expressed gratitude to FINEX for its consistent support for the Duterte administration’s tax and economic policy reforms, saying he “will continue to look to the membership of FINEX for advice and support to get the remaining reforms legislated before the end of the Duterte administration’s term.”

Other key factors that will aid the country in bouncing back strongly from the pandemic, he said, include the “Build, Build, Build” program, which will lay the groundwork for the economy’s higher growth, and the country’s young and skilled workforce, which will sustain demand and create wealth for the national economy.

“Before we leave office, the Duterte administration will make certain that we assist the next President and future generations in dealing with budgetary and economic risks,” Dominguez added.

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