Recent reform steps
The Philippines enacted and implemented a major tax reform in December of 2017. While the personal income tax was lowered, giving much relief to individual taxpayers, the excise taxes were rationalised (oil) and there were some new taxes introduced, such as the excise on sugar-sweetened beverages and cosmetic procedures.
Two major projects were finalised by the Philippines in 2017:
- The conclusion of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN law);
- The implementation of more ambitious programmes/actions against smuggling, which resulted in a 69% increase in the amount of smuggled goods seized from 2010 to 2016. Moreover, the Philippines established intensified tax enforcements through the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) programme of the implementing agency.
Outlook: DRM priorities in 2019
- Introducing reforms through legislation
- Shifting to a more efficient national budget system and introducing more comprehensive reforms in the budget
Equitable and more efficient tax system
Fiscally responsible budgeting; more productive and efficient use of the budget
Ensuring policy coherence for development
Most, if not all, of the economic and fiscal policies in the Philippines go through the review of the economic managers of the President. There are standard principles of public policy for key strategic areas that the Philippine government adheres to. In addition, the legislative branch pursues and ensures that the list of priority policy proposals of the President passes through legislation.
The government has a legislative group that serves as the communication bridge and platform among agencies on policy reforms. Apart from this, the government is grouped in different clusters that oversee the major economic issues.