MANILA -- Malacanang on Thursday welcomed the prediction of Nomura, a leading security and investment banking company in Japan, that the Philippines’ economic growth would hit 6.9 percent in 2018.
“We welcome the latest forecast of Nomura,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Baguio City.
Roque said the Palace attributed the global investment bank’s positive forecast on the full implementation of first package of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“This will support the increase in public infrastructure spending and regional development through inter-regional and nationwide infrastructure that will form efficient network of engines of economic growth all over the country,” Roque said.
The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) hit 6.7 percent in 2017, securing its place as one of fastest growing economies in Asia.
The economic growth was within the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent target for 2017.
Meanwhile, Roque said the TRAIN law would have minimal effect on the agricultural products particularly those coming from Baguio and Benguet, the country’s main suppliers of highland vegetables.
“I think it will be minimal because there is ad valorem tax on vegetables. Perhaps, it affects some inputs but it would be minimal. In fact, Department of Finance says in terms of inflation, it’s about 0.7 percent effect,” Roque said.
Duterte signed into law the TRAIN aimed at making tax system fairer and simpler as it would increase take-home pay and bonuses of workers with annual salary of PHP250,000.
The new law, on the other hand, will increase excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and cigarettes, petroleum and automobile tax. (PNA)