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End Tax Haven Secrecy

Action for Economic Reforms recently joined the campaign to end tax haven secrecy.

This campaign was initiated by a coalition of organisations from around the world uniting to demand tax justice at the G20 summit in France in November 2011.

FOI Critical in Addressing Corruption

Amid an ongoing congressional investigation on deep-rooted corruption in the military, we appeal to President Aquino to reconsider inclusion of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill in his list of legislative priorities. This should send the strongest signal to the country and the world that he remains truly committed to his anti-corruption agenda.

We cannot overemphasize the role that an FOI law will play in transforming government culture. As Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile observed when he explained the Senate’s commitment to the measure in the last Congress: “I think that if we do this, our desire for a more straightforward and honest government will be accomplished, because then people will have to be very, very careful and circumspect in performing their work in government, in transacting their official business, and in spending the money of the people.”

Economists Issue Statement on Capital Controls and Trade Treaties

Initiated by the Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University (GDAE) and the Washington, DC-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), this economist statement calls for the United States to recognize that capital controls are legitimate prudential financial regulations that should not be subject to investor claims under U.S. trade and investment treaties.

PNoy urged to include FOI and fiscal reform bills in priority agenda

Freedom of Information (FOI) advocate and Right to Know, Right Now! convenor Nepomuceno Malaluan and Action for Economic Reforms (AER) President Jessica Cantos wrote Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, urging the President Aquino to include FOI, cigarette tax reform, and fiscal incentives rationalization bills in the President’s legislative agenda.

Pro-tobacco solons wrong on retaining cigarette excise tax

Last week, Representatives Victor Ortega (1st District La Union) and Eric Singson (2nd District Ilocos Sur) defended tobacco interests, arguing that there is no need to correct the excise tax on tobacco and cigarettes. They repeated the call earlier made by Phillip Nelson, President of Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp. This if-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it argument is wrong. The system is really in shambles: the rates are not keeping up with inflation; some brands are still taxed based on their 1996 prices; and we have a complicated four-rate tax structure.

Position on the Freedom of Information bills (Addressed to the House of Representatives)

In pushing for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, it is not our aim to use information “to exact ransom, extort money or property, coerce government in changing policies to conform to our whims, caprices and syndicated acts, or to harass people in government”, as Rep. Romualdo fears. Instead, our aim is to make informed participation in governmental decision making, enhance government accountability, and assist in making government programs and services accessible to the public. With only the public good in mind, we are committed to the prudent and responsible exercise and use of our right to information.