MANILA, Philippines – Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has put forward a list of 9 priority measures the executive department will propose to lawmakers when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 22.
Purisima said in a statement on Monday, July 15, that he presented the list of proposed bills aimed at addressing economic issues faced by both the government and private sector during a Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet’s economic development cluster is currently preparing for the start of the 16th Congress, coinciding with the Sona, to push for the following:
1. Amendments for the Build-Operate–Transfer (BOT) Law or RA 7718
This is meant to accelerate the public-private partnership (PPP) program to address implementation issues.
“We propose to amend the inclusion of other PPP modalities such as joint ventures, concession and management contract, and enhancing provisions on unsolicited proposals including the conduct of competitive challenge. We also need to make sure that the PPP Governing Board is properly accounted for in legislation. These measures will make sure that the lessons we learned from our PPP experience are institutionalized,” said Purisima.
2. Rationalization of the Mining Fiscal Regime
The Finance Department has been pushing for the passing of the mining revenue bill jumpstart the ailing mining industry and raise more revenues for the government.
3. Rationalization of the Fiscal Incentives Law and the Tax Incentives Monitoring and Transparency Act (TIMTA)
Purisima cited a World Bank survey, which estimated that wasteful tax incentives shaves off 1% from the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). He said they are eyeing to repeal an initial of 26 special laws with tax incentives provisions.
Purisima said that a monitoring and accountability mechanism through the TIMTA bill will help account for the utilization of public funds, including those that are “spent” through the grant of tax incentives to businesses and activities.
“This will enhance our ability to track the incentives that government gives out and properly evaluate which incentives most effectively spur development,” he said.
4. Customs Modernization and Tariff ACT (CMTA)
5. Amendments to the BSP Charter
6. Amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act
7. Removal of Investment Restrictions in Specific Laws cited in the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL)
8. Amendments to RA 8974 otherwise known as the Act to Facilitate the Acquisition of Right-of-Way, Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects and For Other Purposes
9. Amendments to the Cabotage Law
Purisima leads the Economic Development cabinet cluster, which includes the NEDA, as well as the departments of agriculture (DA), budget (DBM), interior and local government (DILG), trade and industry (DTI), public works (DPWH), transportation (DOTC), energy (DOE), tourism (DOT), and science and technology (DOST). – Rappler.com