Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Pia S. Cayetano welcomed wide support coming from different stakeholders for the immediate passage of the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA).
The panel on Wednesday (February 12) held its second hearing on ‘Package 4’ of the government’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which seeks to make passive income and financial intermediary taxes in the country “simpler, fairer, more efficient, and more regionally competitive.”
During the hearing, various stakeholders from government, business organizations, industry groups, and private companies expressed their support for the measure, with only a few concerns raised regarding specific provisions.
Manifesting general support for PIFITA were representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), Capital Market Development Council (CMDC), Insurance Commission (IC), Association of Global Custodians (AGC), Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), and Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), among others.
“I am very happy to hear that most [stakeholders] are supportive [of PIFITA], and there are just a few issues that need to be resolved,” Cayetano stressed in an interview on the sidelines of the hearing.
On the other hand, the senator noted that the concerns raised by various sectors would also be taken into account when the committee drafts its version of the bill.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua, for his part, said the administration remains open to endorse the amendment of certain provisions that are worrisome for industries.
“When you think of passive income, there are many other areas that are affected, like trust corporations, thrift banks, microfinancing, insurance corporations, non-life and life. The objective of the administration is to simplify it… So we have to hear everybody so that we are sure about the effect on all of these sectors,” Cayetano stressed.
“Ang objective talaga natin is to provide a market so that the Filipino citizens – hindi lang mayayaman kundi ang mahihirap – can invest their money and have access to these markets. Para hindi naman mauubos ng taxation ang kanilang mga iniipon,” she added.
The senator said the panel is planning to conduct at least two technical working groups (TWG) to discuss and address specific concerns on certain provisions of the measure.
“At this point, everything is open. I understand the [stakeholders’] concerns. They want a level playing field. We don’t want to create a situation where we are discouraging investments in certain sectors. So we take note of [those concerns and] we want to study them properly,” Cayetano said.
“We just have to [make] clear with everyone that we can try our best to address their concerns,” she further noted. #