MANILA - Tax reform will help raise P786 billion in revenue over 5 years, helping raise funds for President Rodrigo Duterte's massive infrastructure overhaul, one of his economic managers said Monday.
The government hopes to account for "more or less" P2 trillion of the P8 trillion project pipeline to avoid incurring too much debt, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.
This year alone, tax reform is expected to generate P129 billion, P89.9 billion from the law signed last December, and P38.9 billion from supplemental legislation due early this year.
"All these will help improve peoples lives," Dominguez told reporters.
"It is not wise to borrow everything. Just like any business, we would like to raise more or less P2 trillion," he said.
Dominguez said the additional tax revenues could help fund 629,120 public school classrooms, pay for the salaries of 2,685,101 public school teachers and build 60,483 rural health units or 484,326 barangay health stations.
Dominguez said if subsequent tax reforms fail to push through, "we can pass more laws or we can reduce expenses."
The first package of reforms raised taxes on fuel, cars and sugar sweetened drinks to offset a reduction on personal income tax rates.
Dominguez said a household consuming 100 kilowatt-hours per month would now pay roughly P793 instead of P780 to account for taxes on coal and diesel.
The price of a 1-liter of bottle of regular softdrinks will increase to P42 from P30 while the same volume of diet soft drinks will rise to P36 from P30.