Duterte certifies Citira bill as urgent

Aika Rey
President Rodrigo Duterte's certification allows the Senate to pass the bill on 2nd and 3rd readings on the same day

ASPIRING HUB. The Philippines aims to become a regional automotive production hub by offering fiscal and non-fiscal perks to automakers. File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (Citira), which is pending before the Senate plenary.

Duterte wrote a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday, March 9, telling the chamber about the “necessity of immediate enactment” of Senate Bill (SB) No. 1357, the upper chamber’s version of Citira.

 

Under SB No. 1357, corporate income tax (CIT) rates will drop by one percentage point every year from the current 30% down to 20% by 2029. This means that if the bill is passed into law in 2020, CIT would be at 29% for this year.

Qualified firms would be able to avail of 2 to 4 years of income tax holiday and another 3 to 4 years of special CIT rates, among other fiscal incentives that the bill seeks to rationalize.

The Department of Finance had hoped that Citira would hurdle the Senate before Congress goes on break by March 14. The Senate has only 3 session days left, including Monday.

Duterte’s certification allows the Senate to pass the bill on 2nd reading as well as 3rd and final reading on the same day.

Earlier on Monday, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza asked the chamber to “delay” the passage of Citira.

Duterte had urged the current 18th Congress to prioritize Citira in his State of the Nation Address in July 2019, as the previous 17th Congress failed to pass the measure. The counterpart measure at the House of Representatives was passed in September last year.

Citira is the renamed version of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (Trabaho) bill that was passed by the House in the 17th Congress, but failed to hurdle the Senate. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.