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  • Senate committee OKs tax reform bill A yearly income of P150,000, “3-in-1” coffee, and inherited property valued at up to P5 million are exempt from personal income, sweetened beverage and estate taxes, respectively, under the Senate version of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train). Seventeen senators supported and signed the committee report on the Senate’s version of the comprehensive tax reform package, which Senator Sonny Angara sponsored on the floor. The House of Representatives approved its version of Train in May.
  • Investor confidence intact – S&P Investor confidence remains fairly intact more than a year into the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, as policy uncertainty has dissipated on the economic front despite persistent political noise, Andrew Wood, associate director at S&P for sovereign and international public finance ratings, said. Mr. Wood stated that investor worries about the Philippines have generally eased as far as fiscal policies are concerned, although risks remain due to the bloody war on narcotics and ongoing martial law in Mindanao. “The Duterte administration has shown itself to be in favor of sound and orthodox fiscal and monetary economic policy making across the board by generally keeping what worked for the Aquino administration and bringing it over,” he added. “In our view, there remains some policy uncertainties with regard to (Pres.) Duterte’s social agenda in particular…Nevertheless, we don’t see these policies have undermined the economic momentum in the (country) or investor sentiment at this stage,” he explained.

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