MANILA — Reforms on tax system and bureaucracy rolled out by the Duterte administration helped to have a better environment for businesses in the Philippines, top executive of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (HKCCPI) said.
HKCCPI President Anthony Chan said the lower personal and corporate income tax rates under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) of the administration is boosting the country’s attractiveness to investors.
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act has been implemented at the start of the year, which lowers personal income tax, while the government is now pushing for the CTRP Package 2 aiming to reduce corporate income tax.
“The tax reform, especially the reduction in income tax rates, also makes the Philippines more attractive and investment-friendly,” Chan said.
“We also see the current administration really mean to cut or weed out corruption that tremendously encourage investment and job creation,” he added.
The business group’s head, on the other hand, wishes that the Congress will pass the bill on ease of doing business.
Chan, on other other hand, said businesses and Filipino workers were thriving in the country under the Duterte administration.
“Investors from Hong Kong investing in manufacturing sectors employing workers with higher than minimum wage and decent working conditions, that’s we share the view that generally the people are better off under the current administration,” he said.
A Forbes article published earlier this month said Filipinos were better off under this administration, citing the Gallup survey that the percentage of Filipinos who consider their lives thriving since President Rodrigo Duterte took office increased to 28 percent in 2017 from 26 percent in 2016.
This is also true for International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP) Founder Francis Chua, who said the high approval rating of President Duterte in various surveys suggests that lives of Filipinos were in better condition in the past two years.
Chua said local business environment was also better off in this administration, noting the increasing number of projects registered with the investment promotion agencies in the country.
“The President must be doing the right thing,” he said.