CongressWatch Report

The House Committee on Ways and Means sent its TRAIN 2 bill to the plenary on August 9, 2018. Chairman Dakila Cua named House Bill No. 8083 the TRABAHO Bill, for Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities.

TRAIN, or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, is the Duterte administration’s bid for comprehensive tax reform. TRAIN 1, which lowered most personal income taxes while raising some excise taxes, was signed into law on December 2017. TRAIN 2 aims to “rationalize” corporate incentives while lowering corporate income tax rates.

21 May 2018 – Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 99.6% or 911,768 of the 915,726 total enterprises in the Philippines in 2016. Of this number, almost 90% (820,795) are micro, followed by small at 9.46% (86,955), and medium at 0.44% (4,018). This figure could be more considering the three million to four million enterprises listed in the Philippine Business Registry submitted by the local government units.

14 February 2018 – Last 19 December 2017, the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) bill was signed into law (Republic Act 10963), and has started to take effect 1 January 2018. Also last month, the Department of Finance already submitted the second package of TRAIN to Congress. The two measures are expected to generate P130 billion additional revenues that will fund the government’s infrastructure (“build, build, build”) and social development programs.