MANILA- - A ranking official of the Department of Finance (DOF) said the tax reform proposal will be evidence-based, thus, any suggestion to remove groups from the proposed list of those who will be removed of their value added tax (VAT) exemption right must be studied.
This, after members of the House of Representative's Ways and Means Committee, during a hearing last Monday, "approved in principle" the first package of the proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Proposal (CTRP) but removed the cooperatives from the list of those who will be stripped off of their VAT exemption.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said the eventual removal of the cooperative sector was among their concern but noted that "there will probably be some other that you have to consider."
About Php 6-billion worth of government revenues is said to be lost from the cooperative sector's VAT exemption and some lawmakers raised this issue during the tax proposal hearings.
Chua said the issue might be addressed by asking the sector to produce necessary data.
"They will request them to produce data because we really want to do this evidence-based. We will try to use the data that we have," he told reporters at the sidelines of the 3rd general meeting of the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) in New World Makati Hotel Thursday.
To date, three sectors have been removed from the proposed list of those who will now be required to pay VAT -- cooperatives, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
During the same event, Albay 2nd District Rep Joey S. Salceda said the tax proposal may be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate by October, about three months late from Finance officials' expectations for the measure's approval.
The expected delay is due to the conduct by a technical working group (TWG), which was suggested during the House's Ways and Means Committee hearing last Monday, of a review and consolidation of several tax reform measures.
"It looks (like the measure may be passed) more in October. At least between now and May 2, the Committee can work on TWG," the lawmaker told the FINEX members after his speech.
Salceda, House's Ways and Means Committee vice chair, told journalists that the TWG might start its work after the Holy Week.
The House of Representative will be on recess from March 16 to May 1 and sessions will resume from May 2 to June 2 before another break from June 3 to July 23.
Source: Philippines News Agency