Press Releases

House tax committee shares 2023 agenda; Salceda says tax panel to ramp up efforts against agri smuggling

December 31st, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) shared in a statement the ten priorities of the House tax committee for the year 2023. Salceda emphasized that the committee will also focus on fighting smuggling, particularly in the agriculture sector.

“The House Ways and Means Committee is committed to these ten immediate priorities for the new year. We will focus strongly on our role in fighting smuggling and promoting investments and industries in the Philippines,” Salceda said.

Salceda bared ten top priorities, with an emphasis on fighting smuggling in the agriculture sector.

“First, we will exercise oversight of the implementation of the DA’s and BOC’s task forces and regulations on agricultural smuggling. This is a key priority of President Marcos, and the tax committee takes to heart its role in achieving this priority. You will remember that it was also the House Ways and Means Committee that got these agencies to issue these tighter regulations last year,”

“Second, we will follow up on the request to the DOF to fix the policy on VAT for indirect exporters. I want that issue settled once and for all.”

“Third, we will intervene on behalf of BPO transferees from PEZA to BOI. This will protect the work-from-home arrangements of many BPO companies.”

“Fourth, we will discuss taxation of alcohol products, especially alcomixes or alcopops. I am not yet fixed on higher rates for alcohol across the board, but I definitely want alcomixes to be taxed in parity with beer. They are consumed like beer, and they attract younger consumers. So, I want higher taxes there.”

“Fifth, we will discuss the report of the Technical Working Group on vape taxation. I think for now, we will go for stronger enforcement against illicit trade since the bigger vape companies appear to be paying the taxes we projected we will get from them.”

“Sixth, we will consider measures on the motor vehicle road users’ tax, depending on inflation conditions. If prices ease up, we may have more room to discuss these measures.”

“Seventh, we will begin briefings on junk food taxes, and whether the DOH, FDA, and DOF can implement such taxes. I want to know what the challenges to implementation will be before we discuss what rates of taxation should apply.”

“Eight, I will request that the Congressional Oversight Committee on the CTRP be convened. In particular, I want to see updates on the VAT refund system, electronic invoicing, challenges with the sweetened beverage taxes, and how we can help the domestic sugar industry.”

“Ninth, I want to begin discussions on  global corporate taxation, particularly progress on the global minimum corporate income tax and what its effects on the Philippines will be. I will also push my counterparts in the Senate to pass the Multinational Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a treaty we acceded to in 2014.”

“Finally, I will be pushing for more capacity building in the BIR with respect to transfer pricing – especially in excisable products such as oil and minerals. On the one hand, new taxes on these products might be good. But implementing current taxes faithfully is also a concern.”

House tax committee to tighten noose on technical smuggling in agri

Salceda also emphasized that the House tax panel will “be pursuing even tighter enforcement against smuggling of agricultural products.”

“For this reason, I will be asking an independent panel such as the Institute for Solidarity in Asia to see what changes we can further bring to the BOC to tighten agri smuggling enforcement.”

“President Marcos wants to fight the double whammy of high domestic agri prices and high rates of agri smuggling which benefit only the smugglers. We join him in that fight.”

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