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Duterte approves new tax reform package

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday signed into law the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill or Republic Act No. 10963.

“This is the administrations biggest Christmas gift to the Filipino people as 99 percent of the taxpayers will benefit from the simpler, fairer, and more efficient tax," he said after signing the measure in Malacañang.

The most significant breakthrough regarding the TRAIN is that those earning P250,000 will be exempted from income tax beginning January 1st 2018, according to the President.

Along with the 2018 General Appropriations Act, Duterte said the TRAIN is a  fulfillment of his campaign promise for genuine fiscal reform “that will be felt by every Filipino.”

“The law also addresses long and overdue corrections in our tax laws and introduces a more progressive tax system for the rich and the poor, contribute to give better services to our people,” the President said.

Revenues from the tax reform package would fund the administration’s priority projects such as providing free tertiary education in state universities and colleges, quality health care, and social protection, and conditional cash transfers as well as the Build Build Build infrastructure program and the reconstruction of war-torn Marawi City, he added.

Duterte directed the Department of Finance to submit to Congress the second package of the tax reform plan early next year, which will deal with corporate income tax.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that TRAIN’s most important provision will “spare 99 percent of our population from the payment of income taxes.”

Under TRAIN, those earning not more than P250,000 per year will not be taxed.

TRAIN will also provide P200 per month to the 10 million poorest households in the country to mitigate the effects of the program.

LOOK: What’s in TRAIN

— VDS/BM, GMA News