President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team is pushing hard for the approval of the 2nd tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law amid strong opposition. The Department of Finance (DOF) is proposing to cut corporate income tax and modernize fiscal incentives. These reforms, said economic managers, are necessary. But the 2nd TRAIN package has very few champions and many opponents. While the deliberations at the House of Representatives are moving, the Senate is wary. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said his colleagues fear the proposal would bring another wave of inflation . Two of the country's top promotion investment agencies have spoken out against the measure as well. Several businesses have raised concerns, too. Corporate income tax The Philippines has the highest corporate income tax (CIT) in Southeast Asia at 30%. Neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia have 25% and 24%, respectively. Singapore has ... » Learn More about EXPLAINER: Why the government is pushing for 2nd TRAIN package
Senate foreign relations committee hearings
For the fourth time, the proposal to create a department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) made it to President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA). Duterte on Monday, July 26, identified the creation of a Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos (DMWOF) a priority bill in his final SONA. He made similar calls during his past SONAs, except in 2017 and 2018. "I also ask Congress to pass a law creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos. Kailangan po ito (this is needed) – because they are suffering, they suffered not only yesterday but they are still suffering now with so many inadequacies, in both our government response, including the monetary assistance – to ensure that there is a department that is solely focused on addressing the needs and taking care of the welfare of our countrymen abroad," Duterte said on Monday. It has been Duterte's plan to create a department focusing on OFWs even before he ... » Learn More about Does the Philippines need an OFW department?
Alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS), such as vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) are now steadily gaining recognition in the Philippines. MANILA, Philippines — Current strategies to get smokers to drop their habit — including going cold turkey, counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy — have not been very effective, according to Peter Paul Dator, president of The Vapers PH, as quoted in a joint statement issued on Tuesday by various groups advocating safer alternatives to cigarettes. About 15.9 million Filipino adults smoke, with a quit rate of only 4 percent, the statement said, citing the results of the Global Tobacco Survey of 2015, which was conducted by the Department of Health and the Philippine Statistics Authority. The low quit rate is the reason that various groups have continued to promote Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR), a strategy that encourages smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit to switch to smoke-free alternatives — also known as ... » Learn More about Filipinos warming up to better alternatives to cigarettes