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The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte stands to lose P173.8 billion every year if its plan to lower personal and corporate income taxes, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said yesterday. “The lowering of income tax rates will bring down revenues by approximately P139 billion and the lowering of corporate income tax rates will bring down our revenues by approximately P34.8 billion,” he told the House appropriations committee. Sec. Dominguez made the forecast at a briefing by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee to the House panel headed by Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles. Pres. Duterte has promised to reduce from 32% to 25% the individual tax rates for fixed-income earners, and from 30% to 25% the corporate tax being paid by local and foreign businessmen. He said the government is also eyeing to “eliminate the zero-rated VAT transactions.” In adjusting to inflation the excise tax on oil products, Sec. Dominguez said the tax on petroleum products would be P10 per liter.
Mining stakeholders are appealing to Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to give mining companies a chance to do their business and to continue to contribute to the growth of the economy amid the government’s intensified crackdown on irresponsible mining. “Let’s give mining a chance. We have the laws and the provisions are very strict. The industry is asking to just let them do their business,” said by Philex Public and Regulatory Affairs Senior Vice President Mike Toledo. UP National Institute of Geological Sciences Director Carlo Arcilla said the industry should not be set aside despite its measly 1% contribution to the country’s gross domestic product. “Even if it’s just 1%, it might mean 100% to the involved communities. Mining is a complicated business, it’s easy to condemn but it can do a lot of good provided that it is regulated, the environment is protected and the government is willing to listen to experts,” Mr. Arcilla said.ad.