NEDA chief wants reform bills passed before Congress ends

NEDA chief wants reform bills passed before Congress ends

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) administrator Karl Kendrick Chua. (Photo: Edge Davao)

By Tracy Cabrera

PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA — Brushing aside concerns about the transition of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to the incoming leadership, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) administrator Karl Kendrick Chua is reminding legislators in both legislative Houses to pass with urgency pending bills which include reforms on taxes.

In a statement, Chua enthused that “we did not finish all the reforms that we wanted to do, primarily because the pandemic hit us and we have to reprioritize our time, money and effort,” so with just two weeks left before the current 18th Congress comes to a close, the country’s chief economist urged legislators to approve a number of reform bills that included tax reform measures on property valuation and financial taxes, water sector reforms as well as the proposed national land use act.

“Land is the resource that will never increase, so we better know how to use it properly,” the socio-economic planning secretary pointed out.

Chua asked both members of the current 18th Congress to fast-track the pending priority bills; otherwise, he said the next 19th Congress, which starts session in July, can take a look at continuing the reform agenda.

The 18th Congress will end its session on June 3 and in this score, the NEDA chief is also pushing for an apprenticeship bill “to provide better opportunities to (the country’s) student graduates.”

Also pending in the Senate was the corn, livestock and poultry bill that, he said, “(would) address issues (concerning) high meat prices.”

Another pending measure, Chua urged the Senate should ratify, is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free-trade agreement which as of late has been the focal point of concern by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFC) in the Philippines.

“This is one the biggest trade agreements that will bring in more opportunities,” he concluded.

(ai/mtvn)

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