The American Chamber of Commerce Central Luzon Chapter had its first GMLM for 2018 featuring the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act Package 1- RA 10963 at Royce Hotel last January 18, 2018. The said meeting invited Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven of Department of Finance as the guest speaker. A crown of almost 50 attended the meeting and it was indeed a great opportunity for the attendees to learn facts on its impact for business or personal finances. The afternoon event was also graced by Atty. Wilma Eisma, Administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Asec. Joven highlighted the key provisions, its impact on income and inflation, and fiscal impact. He mentioned that the tax reform package 1 is an important milestone in Philippine history, because it created a lot of firsts:
- First time a tax reform happened without a crisis and without an external force imposing.
- First time the main purpose is poverty and inequality reduction, and not deficit and debt reduction.
- It is the first of five packages that will once and for all correct the structural problems of the tax system that has made it unfair, complex, and inefficient.
He also presented the possible allocations of the created income from the tax reform, earmarking the following:
- 70% to fund infrastructure projects such as, but not limited to:
Build, Build, Build Program and provide infrastructure programs to address congestion through mass transport and new road networks,
Sports facilities for public schools, and
Potable drinking water supply in all public places;
- 30% to fund social services:
Programs for sugar farmers to increase productivity, provide livelihood opportunities, develop alternative farming systems, and enhance farmer’s income.
Social mitigating measures and investments in education, health, social protection, employment, and housing for poor and near-poor households.
Unconditional cash transfer to the poorest 10 million households.
Social benefits card (national ID) to determine qualified beneficiaries
Lastly, an open forum was facilitated by Mr. Ralph Morales, one of CLAMCHAM’s Advisory Board.