By Tracy Cabrera
FOLLOWING misconceptions received by government in explaining the impact of rising prices of prime commofities, finance assistant secretary Antonio Lambino recognized the challenge in educating the public about tax reforms and inflation.
At the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Hotel forum, Lambino pointed out that educating the importance of tax reforms as beneficial to the people would really be difficult, especially in the face of rising inflation rates, but it is also important to keep communicating and to foster an understanding of these issues.
“Explaining the second tranche of the tax reform is even more difficult since the first package is still plagued by ‘misinformation,” he stressed.
“These important issues and public understanding of them is really a process. It takes time. The ability of government to communicate is very important in bringing about citizen participation,” he added.
Package 1 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law implemented income tax exemption for workers earning P250,000 and below. Additional taxes on oil, tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages, among others, were also imposed by TRAIN 1.
For the second tranche, the government plans to rationalize fiscal incentives that could level the playing field for big and small enterprises.
“The more you give incentives, the more you make the playing field less leveled, so we need to make sure that we’re able to balance those interests,” Lambino disclosed.
“Incentives should be awarded to companies for the right reasons, such as the ability to create jobs, and to bring technology and innovations to the country,” he concluded.