Philippines: House panel approves TRAIN 2 substitute bill

  • The House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee on 7 Aug 18, approved a substitute bill of the Duterte administration’s proposed corporate tax reform program.
  • Corporate tax reform comprises Package 2 of the Duterte administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program. The proposal is also known as TRAIN 2, after the name of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
  • The measure aims to trim corporate income tax and streamline fiscal incentives to grant them only to those who need them
  • The House panel-approved substitute bill seeks to gradually slash the current 30% corporate income tax by 2% every other year starting 2021 to 2029, provided that the cut would not reach lower than 20%.
  • The committee also proposed renaming Package 2 of the tax reform program to “Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO).” The measure was previously known as Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act (CITIRA).
  • “Generating better opportunities for Filipinos has always been our primary objective in this exercise. We are moving to an incentives regime that is biased to development outside of metro or urban areas,” Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua (Quirino), Committee on Ways and Means chairman, said in a statement.
  • “We are also lowering the burden on businesses so that they can expand and provide more employment opportunities,” Cua added.
  • Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s public popularity and the super-majority he holds in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said Package 2 has “very little support” from senators amid fears that the measure could slow investments and fan inflation.

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