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DOF pushes for amendment, repeal of 123 laws on investment incentives

The Department of Finance (DOF) on Tuesday urged Congress to amend or repeal over a hundred special laws on investment incentives and consolidate them into an omnibus incentive code as part of the proposed second package of the government's tax reform program.

"We propose amendment or repeal of 123 special laws on investment incentives and consolidate them into one omnibus incentive code or the strategic investment priority plan," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told lawmakers during a hearing at the House of Representatives .

"Outside the tax code, we have 123 laws that grant various forms of investment incentives and 210 laws that grant non-investment incentives," he added. "The situation cries out for rationalization."

Among the proposed amendments is the removal of the 5-percent tax on gross income earned which would be replaced by a 15-percent rate on net taxable income.

The proposal was submitted to Congress by the DOF in January, under which the corporate income tax of 30 percent would be lowered to 25 percent.

"The Philippines has the highest corporate income tax rate in the whole ASEAN region, and most companies, particularly the small and medium enterprises pay the highest rate at 30 percent," said Dominguez.

"We need to gradually bring down our corporate tax rate to the regional benchmarks."

The first package of tax reforms — Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) — was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 19, 2017, effectively lowering the personal income tax (PIT) rates and expanding the value-added tax (VAT) base starting January 2018. —KBK, GMA News