Two big-ticket bills have been signed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
The first of the two is the national budget for 2018 that is P3.77-trillion that the Congress ratified last December 12. The total amount of the budget is 12 percent more than that of the 2017 counterpart.
The Philippine Constitution mandates that the Education Department shall be given the biggest cut in the budget. P553.3-billion has been budgeted for the Education Department for 2018. Next big amounts are the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with P170.8-billion followed by the Department of National Defense with P149.7-billion and the Department of Social Welfare and Development with P141.8-billion.
On the other hand, the second signed bill is the tax reform bill, this was ratified by Congress on December 13 and it reported by CNN Philippines to take effect on January 1, 2018.
Lowered or no tax
Under the bill, tax exemption will be given to those who are earning P250,000 or less per year. The 13th-month pay and other bonuses will also be tax-free if below P90,000.
For those who are earning P2 million per year, their taxes will also be lowered.
Meanwhile, small businesses who are earning less than P3 million per year will be exempted from value-added tax.
Oil price taxed
In accordance with this bill, petroleum products will increase significantly. The reason behind this is that the Finance Department reported that the two million riches Filipino families consume half of the oil products in the country.
The increase in petroleum will be staggard per year. In the case of regular and premium unleaded, it will go up by P7 in 2018, P9 by 2019, and P10 by 2021. Diesel and bunker fuel that is used mostly by public transportation will also increase in three years. P2.50 in 2018, P4.50 by 2019, and P6 by 2020.
Liquefied petroleum gas or LPG will also by P3 but will be spread in 3 years, a peso increase from 2018-2020.
Necessities will be exempted
Other increase will be hiked for products that aren’t necessities like milk and coffee, natural fruit and vegetables juices as well as meal replacements. These products and those that are medically indicated will not be taxed.
Furthermore, beverages using caloric and non-caloric sweeteners will be taxed at P6 per liter, and P12 per liter for beverages that use high fructose corn syrup.
Tobacco will also be taxed and will be raised in phases or P2.50 per annum but will start at P32.50 next year.
Source: CNN Philippines