Proposed 2017 National Budget to redistribute wealth among Filipinos

In a Senate briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee on the proposed 2017 National Budget, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that the P3.35-trillion national budget was designed to redistribute “wealth” by investing heavily in human capital and accelerating spending on infrastructure, especially outside Metro Manila.

In a Senate briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee on the proposed 2017 National Budget, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that the P3.35-trillion national budget was designed to redistribute “wealth” by investing heavily in human capital and accelerating spending on infrastructure, especially outside Metro Manila.

The 2017 proposed national “Budget for Real Change,” Dominguez said, is the alternative model to globalization that the current administration will leverage on to reduce poverty from 26 percent of the population in 2015 to 17 percent by the time President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022.

“It’s what we are proposing in the budget, and the elements to improve inclusivity are heavy investments in education, healthcare, the implementation of the Reproductive Health law, and the needed infrastructure outside Mega Manila area,” the Finance Secretary said.

Dominguez’s statement was in response to a query by Senator Risa Hontiveros, regarding an alternative model to globalization after the DOF Chief said that “globalization is a good tool to increase wealth, but not a good tool to share it.”

Dominguez also presented the proposed tax reform package that DOF is currently studying. The said proposal aims to raise ample revenues from programs designed to bridge the income gap between the National Capital Region and other regions.

The additional funds to be raised by the government will not only offset the revenue erosion from the eyed personal and corporate income tax cuts, but will also fund the government-set higher spending on infrastructure such as roads and bridges; on human capital such as education and healthcare; and on social protection like subsidies for the poorest of the poor.

The Finance Secretary also pointed out that the Philippines has among the highest tax rates in the Southeast Asian region and among the narrowest tax bases–a condition that the DOF tax program aims to reverse.

“As a general rule, the rich will have to pay more in taxes while the vulnerable sectors of society will be protected through highly targeted subsidies and the conditional transfer program. We will ensure that ordinary workers and the bottom 50 percent of households will be fully protected through social protection programs.”

Dominguez also assured the solons that the proposed tax plan will be more transparent, performance-based, highly targeted and time-bound to improve the equity of the whole system.

Photo taken from: www.gov.ph

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