News Release

Palace Confident Budget, Tax Reform Bill will pass Bicam Panel

Malacañan is optimistic that the national budget and the tax reform bill will pass the bicameral conference committee, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Saturday.

“I am pretty sure that mahahanapan naman ito ng resolusyon just like during the past bicameral conferences, nagkakaroon po ng differences sa Senado at Lower House,” Secretary Andanar aired in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas.

Andanar believes that both senators and congressmen sitting as a bicameral committee will be able to thresh out dissenting provisions in the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018.

“At the end of the day, I believe it would not be reenacted,” Andanar said referring to the 2017 national budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

Meanwhile, the bicam panel began yesterday their deliberations on the tax reform bill.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), Andanar said, is the cornerstone of the Duterte administration’s anti-poverty program.

“Meron pong ambisyon ang ating gobyerno na maibaba ang poverty rate from 21 percent to 14 percent by 2022. At itong tax reform ay isa sa mga magiging malaking solusyon para dito,” the Communications Chief said.

The TRAIN aims to lift the burden on low-income earners by lowering personal income taxes and making bonuses, like 13th-month pay, tax-free.

Also, the proposed tax reform, Andanar added, is designed to raise revenues to help fund the government’s Build-Build-Build infrastructure program.

“Sapagkat malaki po ‘yung makokolektang karagdagang buwis para sa ating kaban ng bayan at ‘yung makokolekta namang pera doon ay ‘yan po ang igagastos ng ating gobyerno sa mga infrastructure projects at para umikot po ang ekonomiya natin,” the Communications Chief clarified.

In the same radio interview, Sec. Andanar likewise expressed his trust to the wisdom of congressmen and senators in extending martial law in Mindanao.

“It was really up to the House of Representatives and the Senate to call for an emergency meeting para ma-extend ‘yung martial law,” Andanar said referring to the decision of Congress last July to extend martial law until December.###PCO-Content