By Maila Ager, September 25 2018; Philippine Daily Inquirer


Image Credit to Rappler

The Senate will not proceed with its deliberation of the TRABAHO bill unless government can present definitive data on the impact on jobs, Senator Sonny Angara said on Tuesday.

Angara is chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, which is tasked to deliberate on the second tax reform package, which is now known as the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill.

But during Tuesday’s hearing of the panel, the senator noted a labor official’s own admission that the measure, which seeks to lower corporate income tax while cutting cut incentives, might lead to job losses.

Director Dominique Tutay of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said their agency and the Department of Finance have yet to complete their joint study on the impact on jobs of the TRABAHO bill.

The DOLE however informed the panel that it would be able to complete its study on the impact on jobs in two weeks.

“I’m surprised that the Lower House passed this measure even without such study. The government should really take this issue on jobs seriously Milyon-milyong trabaho at kabuhayan ng milyon-milyong pamilya ang nakasalalay dito,” Angara said in a statement.

“The bill should stay true to its name—that it would create more jobs rather than kill them,” he further said.

The senator said he also expected the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to present its cost-benefit analysis of the incentives before the committee but no representative from agency was present during the hearing.

Angara stressed that the primary goal of the bill should be to create “high-paying jobs” especially in the countryside.

“It seems that the grant of incentives is uneven across regions. We want to spread growth and development in the provinces,” he said.

“Ang hangarin po natin ay lumikha ng trabaho sa rural areas para tulungan silang umangat sa kahirapan,” added the senator.  /muf