Senate may pass tax reform this year: Legarda

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2017 10:48 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's tax reform package may be passed this year, the chairperson of the Senate finance committee said Monday.

Senator Loren Legarda also told ANC's Headstart that she received assurances from the President's economic team that spending would be fast.

"That’s the question I asked in many of my hearings—If you’re not able to spend what is in the annual general appropriations act, how about if there are increased revenues due to the new taxes that are sure to be passed within the year?" she told ANC's Headstart.

Legarda said slow spending could be blamed on government agencies. "It is the institution or the people because if one agency that is perceived previously to be slow-moving is now faster, then there’s no reason for other agencies to be slow-moving," she said.

Duterte is seeking higher taxes on fuel and sugar-sweetened drinks to help offset a reduction in personal income tax rates and fund a P8-trillion infrastructure program.

A separate Senate panel endorsed the chamber's version of tax reform last week, paving the way for debates on the plenary level.

The Senate needs to pass its own version of the measure and reconcile it with the one approved by the House of Representatives before Duterte can sign it into law.