Revenues generated through the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law rose 65 percent in the first semester of 2019 to P55.6 billion year on year, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Thursday.
Dominguez in a statement expressed confidence the growth would be sustained in the coming months through continuing administrative reforms and the completion of the comprehensive tax reform program that would make the taxation system simpler, fairer and more efficient.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs exceeded their TRAIN targets by P1.8 bilion and P1.7 billion, respectively.
“In both revenue agencies, we are automating processes and strengthening control measures against slippages,” Dominguez said.
TRAIN became a law and took effect January 2018 after President Rodrigo Duterte signed it in December 2017.
TRAIN reduced personal income taxes but raised the excise taxes of fuel, alcohol, tobacco products and automobiles in a bid to raise more revenues to be used for development and infrastructure projects under the ambitious and unprecedented “Build, Build, Build” program of the government.
“BBB” aims to build more roads, bridges, airports, seaports, railways, and water and irrigation projects across the country to further spur economic growth. Included in the program is the construction of a subway in Metro Manila in a bid to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic that has been causing around P3.5 billion in economic losses daily, according to a recent study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The remaining four packages of the tax reform program, which are currently being deliberated in the Congress, are Package 2 or the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), Package 2+ or the “sin” tax reform further increasing excise taxes on alcohol and e-cigarettes, Package 3 or the Real Property Valuation Reform and Package 4 or the Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act.
Earlier, past Department of Finance secretaries and known economists expressed strong support for the urgent passage of the remaining packages of the Duterte administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.