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MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is banking on favorable results from the May 13 mid-term elections to push for more revenue reform measures in Congress in the last 3 years of the Aquino administration.
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang stressed this in an interview on Sunday, May 12, during the live coverage of #PHVote, citing the need for support from members of the two chambers so the government could further its anti-corruption and anti-poverty plans.
“We are planning to rationalize revenues on mining and fiscal incentives, as well as the Organic Law, and if we have a more supportive Congress and Senate, it wouldn’t be so difficult for us to pass [these],” he said.
The mining reform bill, which has yet to be crafted, aims to improve the revenue share of the government in the extractive industry. The rationalization of fiscal incentives, on the other hand, aims to ensure that tax breaks and other financial incentives are applicable only to deserving industries.
In 2012, the Aquino government passed the historic sin tax reform law and the controversial reporductive health (or the RH Bill) by tapping allies in Congress.
Carandang also says that the public does not want to have a “rubber stamp” Senate, instead the public wants a Senate that is able to exercise judgment as well as express their opinions, but at the same time the President also needs to have the ability to call out to the people whenever a significant issue or a bill is in need of immediate passing.
When asked what his greatest fear is come May 13, Carandang stated that he fears that something might happen that would make the May 13 elections less credible. He also states that he knows that the public is skeptic when it comes to elections, but nevertheless he hopes that the public will be accepting of the election results, regardless of the turnout.
"It is understandable that the people would have some degree of skepticism given the past elections, but we just want to make sure that the people would be accepting, regardless of the results” he said. - with reports from Julianne Marie Leybag, intern, Rappler.com
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