The government needs to spend P2.3 trillion annually for key public investments to transform the Philippines at par with Malaysia and South Korea by 2040, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Based on the presentation of the DOF, the government needs to raise its investments in infrastructure, education, health, social protection, training and other programs from the present P1.27 trillion level to P2.29 billion.

“This can be achieved through tax reform,” Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said in a meeting with former finance ministers. “Complementary economic reforms will also be crucial.”

“At the end of this administration, we want to set the country on a path towards eradicating poverty in one generation — by 2040. This is our vision for the Philippines,” Chua said.

By the end of the Duterte administration’s term, the government aims to become a high middle income nation, equivalent to Thailand and China, with a poverty rate of 17 percent. Ultimately, the Philippines should achieve the high income status by 2040.

 


To meet that goal, Chua said the government needs to raise additional P1 trillion a year to bridge the current funding gap for key public investments.

“All these investments require additional funds — around P1 trillion every year in 2016 prices (or around seven percent of gross domestic product) on top of the current P1.3-trillion,” the newly appointed finance undersecretary said.

The needed P1 trillion annual funding could be realized if Congress would pass into law the Duterte administration’s tax reform plan, implement reforms at its two main tax agencies, and impose efficient spending.

According to the DOF, the proposed four tax packages and the tax administration reforms at the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs could easily yield revenues equivalent to three percent of GDP.

Based on the initial estimates by the DOF, the government could raise P600 billion by 2019 from its tax policy and administration reforms at the BIR and Customs.

“By 2019, the proposed tax reform package aims to raise P600 billion (in 2016 prices), or three percent of GDP, to fund the priority investments of the Duterte administration,” Chua said.

Of the total, the government expects P400 billion, or two percent of GDP, will come from the tax policy reform, while the remaining P200 billion, or one percent of GDP, could be generated through tax administration reforms.

“In the BIR, we will improve taxpayer satisfaction, reduce the cost of compliance in paying taxes, gain public trust, and protect the revenue base,” Chua said. “In the BOC, we will protect revenues from smuggling, while enhancing trade facilitation.”

 

As seen on: Manila Bulletin

The Philippines although predominantly Catholic, recognizes it’s ethno cultural diversity such that, public holidays are declared for the major ethno-religious & socio cultural blocks in the country. Among them are observance of the two most important Islamic Holidays of the year; Eid-ul-Fitr & Eid-ul- Adha.

Eid-ul-fitr marks the end of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, happening on the 9th month of the Islamic Lunar calendar believed to be the month when Quran was first revealed. Ramadan is a period of fasting, reflection, devotion, generosity and sacrifice observed by Muslims around the world.

Eid-ul Adha marks the end of Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), one of the five pillars of Islam, happening on the 10th day of the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a fest commemorating Abraham’s act of supreme sacrifice when Allah asked his son to be sacrificed. Pleased with Abraham’s obedience, a ram eventually took his son’s place.

The Islamic Lunar calendar, also referred to as Hijri Calendar, is a purely lunar calendar of 12 months, based on the phases of the moon. Each lunar month has approximately 29.53 solar days or 354.36 days for 12 months. It is shorter by 10-11 days from the Gregorian Calendar. This explains why Ramadan and the time of Hajj gets earlier each year.

Philippine Public holidays for 2016 & 2017 include these two holidays not as line items in the list but as provisions in the proclamation. The National Commission of Muslim Filipinos is tasked to inform the office of the president of the actual dates depending on the phase of the moon.

2016 Public Holidays (Proc No 1105-BSA)

2017 Public Holidays (Philippine Gazette Proc. No. 50)

Sources:
Islamic Research Foundation International Inc.
Philippine Gazette
ramadan-islam.org
islam.about.com