PH business groups back pending economic recovery bills

    Fifteen business groups request President Rodrigo Duterte to prod Congress to pass 17 bills they say would help the country’s economy recover from the further effects of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Time is of the essence they say.

    MANILA — The groups seek 17 specific reforms or measures that will provide the needed push to achieve inclusive growth and competitiveness.

    “With one year left in the current Congress, we believe the 17 measures are achievable reforms that will generate substantial impact in achieving our shared vision of inclusive growth through job generation, poverty reduction, and global competitiveness,” the groups say in a statement.

    Anticipating the President’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 26 July, they sent separate letters to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco.

    The business groups include Alyansa Agrikultura, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc, and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc.

    According to them, Congress should pass pending amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act as these would open up the economy to more foreign investments.

    “These reforms will also support economic recovery and higher GDP growth in 2022 and beyond in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    They support the measures on ease of paying taxes, electric vehicles and charging stations, freedom of information, national land use and management, open access in data transmission, Philippine creative industries, promotion of digital payments, public-private partnership, rural agricultural and fisheries development financing system, and secrecy of bank deposits Law amendments.

    They likewise back the passage of the Government’s remaining tax reform packages, namely the Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act and Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act.

    The business groups said the Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act would broaden the property-related taxes of the Government and generate more revenue for local government units “without increasing the existing tax rates or devising new tax impositions,” while the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act will simplify the tax structure for financial instruments. (JD/The MiNT)

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