We are pleased to share with you our Occasional Paper for December, entitled “On the Right Track? Challenges Ahead of the TRAIN bill’s Journey.” Written by Ms. Weslene Uy, Senior Research Associate at Stratbase ADR Institute, the paper provides an overview on the administration’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), the first package of its Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which aims to overhaul the current tax system and make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient, while raising the necessary revenues for the government’s ambitious public investment programs.
The paper aims to contribute to the discussion on the topic by looking at previous efforts to reform the tax system through a political lens. It then traces the TRAIN bill’s journey in Congress, which shows how the bill has evolved from the original Department of Finance proposal. Finally, it identifies the imminent challenges that the Duterte administration faces as it pursues one of its flagship economic programs. Some of these challenges include a potential case filed at World Trade Organization in relation to the bill’s discriminatory sugar-sweetened beverage provision, the timely implementation of the social mitigating measures, the government’s capacity to spend incremental revenues efficiently, and its ability improve its tax administration performance.
Further details can be found in the full text of the article. I hope you will find it useful and interesting for understanding the administration’s tax reform program, especially as it is gearing up for the TRAIN’s implementation in January 2018.