Duterte certifies corporate tax bill as urgent

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 9) — President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the second package of the government’s tax reform, which will lower corporate income tax and streamline fiscal incentives.

In a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III dated March 9, Duterte certified the necessity to immediately approve the Senate Bill 1357 or the “Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act,” also known as CITIRA.

The President wants to ensure the passage of the said measure “to promote foreign direct investment inflows and the expansion of business ventures conducive to economic growth and job generation.”

CITIRA bill seeks to gradually cut the 30% corporate income tax rate – which is considered the highest in Asia – to 20% by 2029.

The Department of Finance said the incentives are available to investors who make net positive contributions to society.

Under the package, incentives will be performance-based, targeted to priority industries, and renewable.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address last year, Duterte asked the Congress for the passage of some tax reforms including the CITIRA.

The House of Representatives already passed the bill on final reading last year. Meanwhile, the period of interpellation is ongoing at the Senate.

Business groups recently urged the Senate to pass the CITIRA bill to attract investments as global trade is affected by the coronavirus outbreak.