Line of Sight

Exciting times ahead

In May 2016, a majority of the Filipinos elected President Rodrigo R. Duterte as the President of the Republic of the Philippines.  Fast forward to May 2017 and a lot has changed since then. 

President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign has been the major highlight of his administration, drawing both praises and indignation from the Filipino people. 

The international community has also made their respective stands, many unfavorable, about it.  This and other issues have overshadowed the exciting developments awaiting our country – take, for example, his planned infrastructure projects as well as his proposed comprehensive tax reform package.

Have you ever been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately?  Have you tried to ride on their trains on their underground subways?  Have you ever wondered if it could be possible to replicate those in our country, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao region, to somehow address the problem of severe traffic congestion?  Well, this is one thing that we could look forward to in the coming years.      

Big-ticket infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, mass urban and subway systems are among the key priorities of Duterte’s administration.  This could also give way to massive employment as it would require people to initiate and finish the projects.  Of course, completion of such projects would take a long time but, at least, we have some exciting development projects ahead of us.  After all, we are taking a step at a time towards progress.


Have you been complaining about the amount of tax that is deducted from your salary every payday?  Have you thought of going abroad to a country where the taxes are lower than what we have here in the Philippines?  

Well, there is another thing that we could all look forward to – the tax reform package of the government with emphasis on the lowering of personal taxes.  Currently, if a certain individual is earning an income of P10,000, the tax rate is set at 5%.  In the proposed tax scheme, the threshold for income has been set at P250,000 wherein tax rate would be at 20%, decreasing to 15% by the year 2020.  With this, an individual earning P250,000 annually would be able to take home an additional P50,000 which would have been the equivalent tax due in the current tax schedule.  The additional take-home pay could already go a long way in the life of a Filipino and that is an exciting development that we could always hope for.  It took a major step last May 3, 2017, when the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means approved the proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Package.  It will now proceed to the House plenary for discussion.


With these two exciting developments, one would be hopeful about the future of our country.  Of course, they have their pros and cons.  But we can always look at the bright side of things.  After all, these would be for the benefit of most Filipinos.
So, are you ready for the exciting times ahead? 

Well, let us just wait and see!

Mr. Solatorio is a manager of Audit & Assurance P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 Partners and over 850 staff members. We have branches in Cebu, Davao and Cavite.  For comments, please email mark.solatorio@ph.gt.com or PAGrantThornton.marketscomm@ph.gt.com.  For our services, visit  www.grantthornton.com.ph.  Follow us on Twitter: pagrantthornton, and FB: P&A Grant Thornton.

 

As published in Mindanao Times, dated on 15 May 2017