Philippine economy

Tycoons push for swift passage of bills on digital services tax, water department

Ralf Rivas

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Tycoons push for swift passage of bills on digital services tax, water department

BUSINESS LEADERS. File photo of members of the Private Sector Advisory Council holding a meeting in Malacañang.


The Private Sector Advisory Council reiterates their support for taxing digital services, e-governance, and the creation of the Department of Water Resources

MANILA, Philippines – Several economic bills backed by the business elites advising President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are a step closer to becoming law after hurdling Congress deliberations.

The bill seeking to impose value-added tax on digital services, the E-governance bill, and the bill creating the Department of Water Resources and Services, which are backed by the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), have been approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives.

“As a member of the Private Sector Advisory Council, we help to urge swift action by recommending to the President the passing of key bills like digital service tax, E-Governance, and the Department of Water Resources. Establishing a national governing body for water resources is crucial for sustainable management,” said PSAC lead convenor and Aboitiz Group CEO Sabin Aboitiz.

The House approved some of the bills in late 2023. For these to be law, the Senate must pass its own versions. A bicameral conference committee would then reconcile the differences in the two chambers’ bills, both houses would separately ratify the bicameral report, and the enrolled bills would be submitted to Malacañang for the President’s signature.

Digital services

House Bill 4122 seeks to impose 12% VAT on digital services consumed in the Philippines. 

This includes online platforms and media, search engines, e-marketplaces, and digital goods. Online courses and webinars and subscription services for educational institutions are not covered.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier noted that this is not a new tax, but only seeks to clarify which digital services to tax. The DOF went on to say that it was not fair to only tax traditional businesses like restaurants, but not online platforms like Netflix.


House Bill No. 7327 aims to “transition of the government to e-Governance in the digital age”  and create the Philippine Infostructure Management Corporation.

It is meant to complement other digitalization laws, particularly the SIM Card Registration Act and the National ID System.

Every government agency would be authorized to create a plantilla post for a chief information officer to check all tech systems are properly implemented and compliant with the law.

The proposed measure intends to create the E-Government Masterplan, which will be the blueprint in developing e-government services.

Must Read

FAST FACTS: What does the House-approved, Marcos pet bill on e-governance contain?

FAST FACTS: What does the House-approved, Marcos pet bill on e-governance contain?
Water agency

House Bill 9663 seeks to establish the Department of Water Resources, which will serve as the primary agency responsible for the comprehensive and integrated water resources development and management in the Philippines.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier pointed out that there are over 30 agencies with overlapping functions related to the country’s water resources. This has led to uncoordinated planning efforts and inconsistent implementation of policies that adversely affect the country’s water supply. 

“This state of affairs affects about 12.4 million people who obtain water from unsafe sources, with some areas needing more water service providers,” NEDA said. –

Must Read

The billionaires advising Marcos how to run the economy

The billionaires advising Marcos how to run the economy

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Tie, Accessories, Accessory


Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.