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Speedy passage of 2021 budget, other measures to hasten economic recovery

Joshua Lao

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The government’s top economic officials urged Congress for the speedy passage of the proposed 2021 national budget, as such will help address the pandemic while supporting the economic recovery.

Also, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III pushed the timely legislation of other economic measures to help assist businesses amid the health crisis, rebuilding the economy in the process.

Dominguez has particularly pushed for the passage of the Financial Institutions’ Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, the Government Financial Institutions’ Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) bill, and the repackaged Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

“The swift enactment of CREATE, FIST, GUIDE, and the 2021 budget will serve to accelerate our economic recovery. We should not delay providing urgent and necessary relief to our people,” Dominguez said.

FIST intends to allow banks to dispose of its soured loans and non-performing assets through asset management companies while GUIDE seeks to allow state-run banks to establish a special holding company that can infuse equity, with strict conditions, into strategically important companies facing insolvency.

CREATE, on the other hand, aims to lower the country’s corporate income tax from 30 percent to 20 percent over a phased period while promoting a more efficient incentive system for businesses.

“How a country’s economy performs during COVID-19 and how quickly it can bounce back once the crisis is over will depend on its economic resilience,” the Cabinet official said.

“This is why we have been consistent with our approach: we will do what is necessary, but we will not be wasteful,” he added.

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