MANILA - The tax reforms passed by Congress helped drive economic growth before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday during his last State of the Nation Address.
Duterte thanked Congress for passing revenue-generating tax reforms such as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN Law) under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.
"Our tax reform sustained economic growth from the third quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2019 which made the Philippines one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia," Duterte said during his 6th and last State of the Nation Address.
Duterte signed the TRAIN in 2017 and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or (CREATE) this March this year.
TRAIN rationalized individual income taxes while CREATE lowered corporate income tax rates.
Duterte also highlighted his administration's program for micro, small and medium enterprises, which take up the majority of the country's businesses.
The President touted the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program, which he said, has provided aid to MSMEs since 2017 to help small businesses shun exorbitant rates of informal lenders such as 5-6.
Analysts have said the recovery of small businesses would significantly boost the country's economic growth.
Duterte also urged Filipinos to get vaccinated to aid in economic recovery.
The Philippine economy contracted by 9.6 percent in 2020. Its sluggish recovery is now being threatened by the resurgence in cases due to new COVID-19 variants.