Trade groups urge passage of remaining economic reforms

Local and foreign business groups have called on lawmakers to pass the remaining priority economic reform bills in the remaining two weeks of the 18th Congress.

The appeal was contained in letters sent to leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, according to a statement from the Philippine Business Groups and Foreign Chambers.

The groups urged passage of the following bills that have passed the House and simply require counter action in the Senate: Tax Ease; Free access in data transmission; Philippine Creative Industries; Promoting Digital Payments; Property Assessment Tax Reform Package 3 and Valuation Reform; and tax reform package 4 on passive income and taxation of financial intermediaries.

The groups also expressed hope for the ratification of the reconciled version of the following bills which are currently under deliberation by the Bicameral Conference Committee: the establishment of the Philippine Transportation Safety Board and the financing system for the development of agriculture and fisheries in rural areas.

In the letter sent to the Senate, the groups also strongly urged the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The groups nevertheless commended Congress for enacting landmark legislation such as the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, and amendments to the Civil Service Act, Retail Liberalization Act and the Foreign Investment Law. The signatories of the letters are: American Chamber of Commerce of The Philippines; Australia-New Zealand Philippine Chamber of Commerce; Philippine Bankers Association; Philippine Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Philippine European Chamber of Commerce; the Institute of Financial Executives of the Philippines; Philippines Information Technology and Business Process Association; Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc.; Philippine Korean Chamber of Commerce Inc.; Makati Business Club; Management Association of the Philippines; Regional Headquarters of the Philippine Association of Multinational Enterprises Inc. and; Semiconductor and electronics industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. – Irma Issip

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