House pushes Covid-19 recovery bills

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The House of Representatives is committed to push the legislative priorities laid out by President Duterte to help achieve the government’s survival and recovery goals amid the obtaining Covid-19 crisis.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez has made this assurance to members of the US-Asean Business Council during the 2020 Virtual Philippines Business Mission where he also rallied the support of the council’s members.

“Our President has laid out the survival and recovery roadmap for us to consider. We, in the House of Representatives, are in full support of this plan and are ready to face the challenges spelled out us,” he said/

 “As partners in nation-building, we readily commit ourselves to help realize the concrete plans and approve the proposed legislative measures provided by the President,” he assured.

Romualdez said the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act which already hurdled both chambers of Congress, seeks to allocate more than P160 billion for social amelioration and economic stimulus.

The timely passage by Congress of the proposed P4.5 trillion General Appropriations measure for 2021 is also among their top priorities, he added. The proposed 2021 national budget is 9.9 percent higher than this year’s P4.1 trillion budget.

The increased 2921 budget, he said, “aims to sustain the government’s initiatives towards effectively responding to the pandemic. Its focus includes the improvement of the country’s healthcare systems, food security, increased investments in public and digital infrastructure, and helping communities prevail over the crisis.

Romualdez also cited the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) initiated by the House and under deliberation in the Senate which aims to entice more investments and improve the country’s business environment. The measure is “one of the largest economic stimulus measures in Philippine history,” he added.

The House leader said CREATE seeks to free up nearly P42 billion in business capital in 2020 alone and P625 billion in the next five years, partly by immediately reducing the corporate income tax rate from 30% to 25% and one percent further yearly in the next five years until it hits 20% only in 2027.

“The government may consider this as foregone revenue, but we expect companies to reinvest this amount to recover from the pandemic recession,” Romualdez added.

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