Senate to amend CITIRA based on PH COVID-19 crisis needs: Pia Cayetano

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2020 08:24 PM

MANILA - Sen. Pia Cayetano on Tuesday said the Senate would "amend" the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) to ensure that incentives would be given to industries the Philippines needs in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

There is an "opportunity" to give incentives to industries that can boost job generation and the production of medical supplies and equipment, and encourage Filipinos to relocate to provinces to decongest Metro Manila, Cayetano said in a virtual press conference.

"Marami pang amendments na kailangan pagdaanan 'yan kasi so much has changed," she said.

(The CITIRA has to undergo a lot of amendments because so much has changed.)

"We have to go back to the drawing board... kung ano dapat (to see what is needed)," she said.

Cayetano said she also has to discuss the measure again with Philippine economic managers, especially after former Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua was recently appointed Socioeconomic Planning Secretary.

"NEDA has a new Secretary. We need to talk. Let's leave it at that," said Cayetano, who heads the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Chua was among the architects of the Duterte administration's tax reform program.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier certified as urgent the revenue-neutral tax bill, which seeks to reduce corporate income taxes and make incentives more equitable for industries nationwide.

CITIRA seeks to lower corporate income tax to 25 percent from 30 percent by 2024, and further to 20 percent by 2029 to make the Philippines more regionally competitive.

The measure remains pending in the Senate after Congress went on a 2-month break without passing the policy.