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Ang bills! House approves TRAIN 2 on final reading

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House of Representatives Monday approved on final reading the hotly contested House Bill 8083, or the proposed Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill.

Voting 187-14 with four abstentions, legislators finally approved the TRABAHO Bill or more popularly known as TRAIN 2. The bill seeks to gradually reduce corporate income tax from 30 percent to 20 percent between year 2021 and 2029.

The House leadership under former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was present during the voting procedure.

The bill’s primary author, Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, said the country’s corporate income tax rate of 30 percent was one of the highest in Southeast Asia and prevents the country from attracting much-needed foreign investment.

Cua, chairman of the House ways and means panel, disclosed that the national government hopes to make the country more competitive by gradually lowering the rate from 30 percent to the current ASEAN median of 20 percent.

He said the measure would not burden consumers, as it will not impose any additional taxes on consumer product but rather just “scheduling the gradual reduction of our corporate income tax.”

Other author’s of the bill also ensure the public that it will not lead to a mass lay-off despite warning he Philippine Ecozones Association due to the alleged removal of tax incentives for investors since TRAIN 2 would modernize the country’s tax incentives regime to ensure it is “targeted, time-bound, and effective.”