Former government secretaries, bankers, economists and industrialists have sought the immediate congressional passage of the second package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program”•the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, formerly known as the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA).
In a statement Wednesday, an initial list of 17 signatories expressed their full “support for the immediate passage of the bill as a much-needed boost to the recovery of the Philippine economy, and as a necessary policy tool for retaining and creating jobs that will help the people secure their livelihoods against the adverse impacts of COVID-19.”
The signatories cited the need for an immediate 5-percent cut in the corporate income tax, which will benefit all businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, and the extension of the net operating loss carryover (NOLCO) by two years to “provide businesses more resources to pay for their expenses and keep their employees” amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.
Signatories to this joint statement include former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr.; former Finance Secretaries Roberto de Ocampo, Margarito Teves, Jose Camacho and Jose Pardo; former Prime Minister Cesar Virata; Monetary Board member and former Economic Planning Secretary Felipe Medalla; former Economic Planning Secretary and Ateneo professor Cielito Habito; MB member Bruce Tolentino.
Business groups, meanwhile, called for an increase in stimulus spending under the proposed Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill, formerly the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) bill, to fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect jobs and create more businesses.
About 44 business organizations pledged Thursday the groups’ support for the second, more substantial economic stimulus plan to bail out ailing micro, small and medium enterprises which employ more than 62 percent of the workforce.
Data from the Asian Development Bank, estimated the Philippine COVID-19 package should be $19.82 billion, about 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
“We can and should increase stimulus spending to approximate or exceed those of many of our neighbors, according to some comparisons,” the groups said.
Stimulus spending among Southeast Asean nations was the highest in Thailand at $84 billion and in Indonesia at $64 billion.