Press Release
February 19, 2020


Sen. Pia Intro: It's with great pleasure that I was able to sponsor the CITIRA bill today.

I wanted to try to break it down so that the average person would know how this could affect their lives.

The simplest way I could do it is to tie it also to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We want to eradicate poverty, to have decent jobs, and for our communities and cities to be sustainable, to be able to provide for the needs of everyone.

To do that, we want our economy to be vibrant. We want our companies to be able to take home their earnings and spend it the way they want. That's why we are lowering the income tax one step at a time...

Basic lang yun, kapag binigla mo kaagad yun, may repercussion yun. And are we prepared for those repercussions? Baka hindi. Kaya nga one solid step at a time, bababaan natin ang income tax.

At the same time, yun namang napagbigyan ng incentives over the decades - kaya kinuwento ko pa, nung panahon ng tatay ko, college pa ako noon, may incentives na ang mga korporasyon na yun. Tatanggalin ba natin ang incentives nila? Not necessarily. Ang sinasabi lang natin, kung nagko-contribute pa ba kayo sa ekonomiya, marami kayong trabaho na nabibigay, then pwede kayong mag-apply ulit.

So, we came up with a sunset period or transition period, na ang mga nakakatanggap ng incentives, slowly they could transition into either a regular corporate tax payer or they can apply again under the new set of incentives that will be set up with the new regime that we are proposing sa ating Committee Report.

I'd like to thank and take advantage of the presence of our Secretaries and those who have also driven the economy in the past decades who are here to show their support. I really appreciate it. I'd rather that you take the time to ask questions because I will be on the floor defending this in the next few weeks.

Maraming salamat.

Question & Answer portion

Q: What is your timeline for the passage of the CITIRA bill in the Senate? Are there provisions in the bill that would address the potential job losses following the measure's passage?

Sen. Pia: In terms of timeframe, if I take it as an indication of support, a lot of my colleagues said that... Well, they congratulated me. But more importantly, they said, "Ah, yun pala yun. Andaming naliwanagan sa amin based on what you explained. Are you really good with it?" So I said, "Yes, I am."

So I am so happy because there was a lot of misconception. The IPAs, will they close, will they lose their jobs? All of these investors will suddenly be out in the cold. That's why I was really just trying to clarify all of these misconceptions.

And in the days and weeks to come, I will continue to dialogue... If you read the bill, it is very thick and tends to be technical, with a lot of numbers... I will just make myself available. Because I really had to dissect these matrices and go through it. But I assure you, what I said is in the bill - that there would be no job losses among the IPAs, they will continue to do their functions, and more importantly, based on what I kept on hearing, this sunset provision is really a beautiful sunset.

Because if you're gonna make it so hard, who wants to see an ugly sunset? That's what I kept telling Usec. Karl. If you wanna watch a sunset, it should be a beautiful sunset. So if you are going to transition into something else, whether you are going to be an ordinary taxpayer, or you are going to be able to avail of another type of incentive scheme, we want you to be able to enjoy that sunset.

And I hope to have been able to deliver that.

I'll answer my question like I did with Sin Tax, our goal there was end of the year... end of the session, before the year ended in December. I'll do the same thing. I will be available.

Q: Does that mean the Senate can pass it this March?

Sen. Pia: It has never been my style na pangunahan ko ang colleagues ko. That's the respect I give them. Even from the start of the reproductive health (law), when they were asking for the numbers. Hindi ako ganun, eh. I wanna give them that respect. I don't want them to be going to the news reporters tomorrow and say, "Balewala ang sinabi ni Pia." So I won't say anything that will put words in their mouth.

All I can say is I am available to clarify issues, and if we schedule this regularly, we could have a very good chance of passing, we do have a good chance.

I do know that there are issues. That's why I said I will make myself available so I can respond to those issues.

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