Phillipines President Pushes For Eight Per Cent Digital Tax

The South-east Asian nation aims to expand GDP by 6.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent this year.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr pushed for a tax on digital service providers to help narrow budget deficit, pledged to sustain robust spending on infrastructure and vowed never to enforce another lockdown as he aimed to hit an 8 per cent growth during his term.

Our tax system will be adjusted in order to catch up with the rapid development of the digital economy, Mr Marcos Jr said in his first speech before Congress on Monday, laying down his legislative agenda that includes a continuing tax reform, changes to energy and infrastructure-enabling laws, and streamlining government operations.

Imposing value-added tax on digital services, which is Marcos’s first revenue-generating proposal, will yield an initial 11.7 billion pesos (SS$289 million) in revenue in 2023 if passed by Congress, he said.

Boosting collections, also by simplifying and automating tax processes, would help cut debt below 60 per cent of gross domestic product by 2025 and narrow the budget deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by 2028, he said.

The last time the Philippines recorded growth above 8 per cent was in 1976 under the late dictator Marcos Sr, the president’s father and namesake.  

Mr Marcos Jr vowed to keep the economy open, resume in-person education and provide relief to the agriculture sector.  

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