Policy Issues RSS feed for this section

Coalition Welcomes People’s Gains in FOI

The Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition welcomes the recent public endorsement by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III of the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the release of the executive’s final proposed bill.

The President’s endorsement achieves two things: it removes the main reason why the bill has been stalled in the legislative wringer, particularly at the House of Representatives, and 2. it resolves the “concerns” about the bill that the President has expressed, thereby reducing the danger of a Presidential veto.

Health Advocates: New Sin Taxes needed to prevent a Health Crisis

If new sin taxes are not passed within 2012, the Philippines will soon suffer a severe health crisis, advocates from the medical profession and civil society warned yesterday.

Non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) such as cancer and heart disease have already reached dire levels in the Philippines, claimed Dr. Antonio Dans and Dr. Antony Leachon from the medical sector.

Singson’s Sin Tax Bill: Anti-Reform, Anti-Poor

In a rushed, madcap meeting of the National Internal Revenue subcommittee held at the House of Representatives on 30 January 2012, a substitute version of the sin tax bill was signed and approved by 10 legislators, led by the subcommittee’s chair, Representative (Rep.) Eric Singson Jr. of Ilocos Sur.

The substitute bill consolidates the salient facets of the bills previously filed by Rep. Hermilando Mandanas and Rep. Singson on the excise tax for alcohol and tobacco merchandise. Sin tax reform advocates have criticized the Mandanas and Singson bills for their weak provisions such as the absence of inflation indexation and the retention of multi-tiered tax rates.

Anti-Reformers attempt to sabotage the administration’s sin tax bill

In a rushed, madcap meeting of the National Internal Revenue Subcommittee held at the House of Representatives on 30 January 2012, a consolidated version of the Sin Tax Bill was signed and approved by 10 members of the House, led by the Subcommittee’s chair Rep. Eric Singson Jr. of Ilocos Sur.

The ten signing Congresspersons including Rep. Singson, Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City want a bill that undermines the tobacco and alcohol tax reforms.

Position Paper on the Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives

As part of AER’s tax policy, we are supporting legislation that aims to phase out redundant tax incentives that cost billions of pesos in lost revenues and to put in place a well-targeted and a performance-based fiscal incentives system. While fiscal incentives, in their current design, administration, and context, may have proven to be of little value when it comes to encouraging investments, the notion of providing effective subsidies to worthy investors should not altogether be abandoned.

An Appeal to Representative Mandanas

As the 15th Philippine Congress resumes its regular session on 14 November 2011, we look forward to seeing the Lower House immediately tackle the passage of a bill that will reform tobacco and alcohol taxes. After all, no less than the President, with the concurrence of the House Speaker, has pronounced the bill on sin taxes— we prefer to call them health-oriented taxes— as a priority legislative measure.

In fact, the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) has endorsed a bill that contains the best features found in the bills filed by several House representatives, namely Henedina Abad, George Arnaiz, Jocelyn Limkaichong, Pryde Henry Teves, and Niel Tupas, Jr.