Press Releases

Salceda on PBBM’s second SONA: Recovery almost complete, time to chart course for “national greatness;” Tax panel chair calls for taxes on wealth to fund ambitious programs

July 23rd, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says that he expects President Marcos to focus less on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which the tax panel chair his administration “has brought to near-completion” and to focus more on “moving forward with the task of national greatness.”

“The most important triumph of this administration is getting us out of the climate of fear and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. Output is growing rapidly. Prices are getting under control. New jobs are being created. The peso has been saved from spiraling down. The economy is alive and kicking,” Salceda said.

“And he has laid the foundations for strong investment in our future – maintaining infrastructure investments through Build, Better, More at 5.6% of GDP, the Maharlika Investment Fund, the soon-to-be-enacted Public Private Partnership Act. These are crucial. The strength President Marcos brought to the government is that, of all the Presidents in recent memory, only he dares talk about nation-building,” Salceda added.

“The task now at hand is how to work on the basic ingredients of national greatness – a country that is not merely trying to survive, but is ambitious.”

“For me, the key components would be a modern agricultural sector, energy independence, a thriving manufacturing and technology sector, and a vibrant and diverse creatives and services sector. I expect President Marcos to discuss these things in tomorrow’s SONA.”

“That means making agriculture grow by at least 5% every year to catch up with our growing food needs and potentially grow exports, lower power cost to competitive levels at 7 pesos per kilowatt hour, create more manufacturing and export jobs, invest in research and development, and lay out a national plan for skills development,” Salceda added.

Fiscal consolidation needed by taxing the rich

Salceda also says that “of course national ambition requires resources. And growth has tended to accrue towards the rich. So, I am hoping he announces a move towards fiscal consolidation, with a focus on taxing the wealthy.”

Among the taxes Salceda believes will fall on the wealthy include “a tax on more luxury goods, updating road user tax rates, imposing excise taxes on pick-up trucks, rationalizing land valuation, and the imposition of VAT on foreign digital services.”

“These types of taxes should come first before we impose taxes on food. Especially with a global cost of living crisis at hand, I am hesitant to advance taxes on food through my committee,” Salceda added.

“And I think it’s time to enact these taxes on the wealthy, now that the economy is back on track. You want to impose taxes on the rich during good times so that you have reserves for bad times. We never know,” Salceda added.

“Nos is the best time for fiscal consolidation. PBBM will need it to fund a more ambitious agenda over the next five years.”

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