Break­fast with Ben

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION -

Good morn­ing ev­ery­one and Happy New Year! And wel­come to our first press con­fer­ence for 2018. To­day, we have three top­ics to talk about:

(1) First is the 2018 Na­tional Bud­get al­lo­ca­tions for mit­i­gat­ing mea­sures meant to off­set price in­creases re­sult­ing from the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (or Train);

(2) Sec­ond, the FY 2018 Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Act pro­vi­sions which were ve­toed by the President; (3) And third, the 2019 Bud­get Prepa­ra­tions.

1. Mit­i­gat­ing Mea­sures in the 2018 Na­tional Bud­get to off­set short-term price ef­fects of Train

We have em­barked on the largest tax cut in Per­sonal In­come tax­a­tion in the na­tion’s his­tory. Ninety-nine (99) per­cent of per­sonal in­come tax fil­ers will be ben­e­fited with a sub­stan­tial tax cut while the top tax fil­ers with a tax­able an­nual in­come of P8 mil­lion or higher will bear a heav­ier bur­den at 35 per­cent. The huge rev­enue loss from the PIT cut (ES­TI­MATED AT P146.6 bil­lion in 2018 and P894.2 BIL­LION FROM 2018 TO 2022) will be off­set by broader VAT and new in­di­rect taxes.

Aware of the short-term and tran­si­tory ef­fects of Train on con­sumer prices, we in­cor­po­rated a num­ber of mit­i­gat­ing mea­sures in the 2018 Na­tional Bud­get.

First, we have set aside P24.5 bil­lion for the un­con­di­tional cash grants of P200 per month to the poor­est fifty per­cent (50%) of house­holds — ap­prox­i­mately 10 mil­lion house­holds — to be iden­ti­fied by the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD). For 2019 and 2020, the monthly cash grant will be in­creased from P200 to P300. In 2018, we have pro­vided for P24 bil­lion + 7% ad­min­is­tra­tive cost for a to­tal of P25.7 bil­lion. In 2019 and 2020, we will pro­vide for P38.5 bil­lion in the na­tional bud­get.

We have also al­lo­cated about P2.3 bil­lion for the loan fa­cil­ity to be ex­tended to PUV driv­ers to re­place old public util­ity jeep­neys with safer, more com­fort­able, and more eco­nomic PUVs.

Lastly, P2.0 bil­lion is ear­marked for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Na­tional ID Sys­tem, which will en­sure that public re­sources are de­liv­ered to their in­tended ben­e­fi­cia­ries. 2. FY 2018 GAA Pro­vi­sions Ve­toed by the President

Our next topic: President Duterte ve­toed a num­ber of pro­vi­sions in the FY 2018 Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Act. In to­tal, four pro­vi­sions were di­rectly ve­toed, 28 were placed un­der con­di­tional im­ple­men­ta­tion, and 4 were met with gen­eral ob­ser­va­tions, out of the 176 pro­vi­sions and new re­vi­sions in­tro­duced by Congress. 3. 2019 Bud­get Call

Fi­nally, for our third topic. I would like an­nounce to the en­tire bu­reau­cracy and the gen­eral public that the prepa­ra­tion of the 2019 bud­get has be­gun. Last week, Jan­uary 3, 2018, the Depart­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment has is­sued the Bud­get Call for 2019. This means that all gov­ern­ment agen­cies will now get ready to for­mu­late and sub­mit their bud­get pro­pos­als for 2019, based on the macroe­co­nomic as­sump­tions adopted by DBCC last De­cem­ber and pa­ram­e­ters pre­pared by the DBM.

Agen­cies are ex­pected to sub­mit their Agency Bud­get Pro­pos­als to the DBM by mid-April 2018, while the 2019 President’s Bud­get will be sub­mit­ted to Congress on July 23, 2018, the day of the State of the Na­tion Ad­dress. OPEN­ING STATE­MENT Sec­re­tary Ben­jamin E. Dio­kno JAN­UARY 10, 2018

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