The key to achieving prosperity for impoverished Filipino families is a strong micro, small and medium enterprise sector. A strong MSME sector also, in turn, strengthens a country’s economy and guards against foreign financial crises.
Currently, MSMEs already account for roughly 32-35% of the country’s GDP. Sadly, despite the growth in number of small enterprises in the Philippines, few are able to sustain their operation and create long-term success.
For this reason, our office has pushed for a number of policies to improve the support system for this vital sector and we will continue to do so until our country’s business environment is ripe for local entrepreneurs to succeed.
This particular legislation deals with the tricky subject of taxation.
According to a joint study by PwC and the World Bank, Paying Taxes 2016, the Philippines is on the 126th spot out of 189 economies in Ease of Paying Taxes.
This must change, which is why we are asserting the Small Business Tax Reform Act as a measure to simplify tax procedures and unburden our small businesses of the complex tax process.
Proposed measures include a simpler bookkeeping, a special lane and assistance desk for small businesses, exemption from tax audit, annual filing of returns, and payment in installment.
This bill also proposes the lowering of the income tax rate for small businesses and an exemption from VAT, among other methods of stimulating growth in small businesses as opposed to hindering it.
Let’s streamline our tax system and boost the chances of our local enterprises to succeed and, in turn, generate prosperity and livelihood for more and more Filipinos.
Over the past decade, the Philippines has been experiencing GDP gains and exponential economic growth. However, the unemployment and underemployment rates remain high.
There are almost a million new jobseekers that enter the labor force each year and, sadly, employment opportunities are simply not enough to absorb them. Worse, with many skilled and experienced employees agreeing to entry-level jobs just to have a steady source of income, first-time jobseekers with limited or low-level skills are left with no job opportunities.
This is where contractors and subcontractors help job seekers in skills-building, particularly in developing occupational skills that match industry demand. Contractors and subcontractors also help employees in upgrading existing skills, learning new skills and opening up more opportunities for them.
On the other end, contractors and subcontractors also help employers and companies expand their businesses with minimal costs and freedom to focus on their core business. Consequently, when these businesses expand, more jobs are created.
Seeing the impact of this flexibility, the government and contractors/subcontractors must work together to establish a framework, filling the gaps in current industry practices and protecting both employers and employees.
Mga bida, noong Lunes napakinggan natin ang kauna-unahang State of the Nation Address (SONA) ni Pangulong Rody Duterte, 26 na araw matapos maupo bilang ika-16 na pinuno ng bansa.
Isa’t kalahating oras ang haba ng talumpati ni Pangulong Duterte, na sumentro sa iba’t ibang isyung mahalaga sa bansa at inaantabayanan ng taumbayan.
Mula sa iligal na droga, pagnenegosyo, kalikasan, katiwalian, mabilis na serbisyo sa pamahalaan, isyu sa China, problema sa Internet, kapayapaan at kagutuman, natalakay ni Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang SONA.
Malinaw ring nailatag ng Pangulo ang mga direktiba sa mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan at ang direksiyon ng mga plano na nangangailangan ng tulong ng mga mambabatas.
Kasama rito ang pagbuo ng isang pederal na sistema ng pamahalaan at pagbababa ng buwis ng mamamayan.
Sinabayan ng Pangulong Duterte ang talumpati ng kanyang trademark na mga biro at punchline na nagbigay-tuwa sa mga mambabatas at iba pang mga panauhin na nagtipon sa plenaryo ng Kamara.
Sa kabila ng mga birong ito, ramdam natin na seryoso si Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang mga binitiwang kataga, lalo na nang ikuwento niya ang mga taong natutulog sa kalsada habang naghihintay na magbukas ang ahensiya ng gobyerno na nasa isang mall.
Maaalala ang speech ng Pangulo sa pagbabahagi niya ng personal na karanasan at ‘di pagsunod sa script na nasa teleprompter.
Nagpapasalamat din tayo kay Pangulong Duterte sa pagbanggit niya sa ilang mga adbokasiya na isinusulong natin sa Senado.
Kabilang na rito ang pagpapabilis ng proseso sa pagkuha ng mga papeles sa pamahalaan, pagpapaganda sa serbisyo ng Internet, pagpapababa ng buwis, pagtulong sa entrepreneurs at pagpapaganda ng sistema ng edukasyon sa bansa.
Mga bida, hindi naman lingid sa inyo na isinusulong na natin ang mabilis at abot-kayang Internet sa bansa noon pang 16th Congress.
Sa direktiba ni Duterte sa bagong tatag na Department of Information and Communication Technology na bumuo ng isang National Broadband Plan, inaasahan nating gaganda ang serbisyo ng Internet sa bansa.
Marami rin tayong naipasang batas na sumusuporta sa micro, small and medium enterprises at nagtataguyod ng ease of doing business sa 16th Congress, tulad ng Philippine Competition Act, Go Negosyo Act ar Youth Entrepreneurship Act.
Ang mga batas na ito ay makatutulong sa hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte na pabilisin ang proseso ng pagnenegosyo at paigtingin pa ang serbisyo sa ating micro, small at medium enterprises, na siyang haligi ng ating ekonomiya.
Ngayong 17th Congress, naghain tayo ng 100 panukalang batas at resolusyon ukol sa iba’t ibang isyu, kabilang ang pagpapaganda ng sistema ng edukasyon at reporma sa pagbubuwis sa pamamagitan ng Personal Tax Reform at Corporate Tax Reform bills.
Ngayong malinaw na ang direksiyon na nais tahakin ng Duterte administration, tiwala tayo na maisasabatas ang mga panukalang ito, para na rin sa kapakanan ng publiko.
Nagpalit man ng liderato ang Senado, tuluy-tuloy pa rin tayo sa pagtatrabaho para sa ating mga bida.
Palagi kong sinasabi na magkakaiba man ang aming mga partido, pagbubuklurin pa rin kami ng aming pagnanais na pagsilbihan ang taumbayan.
Article first published on Abante Online
Around one third of the food produced globally, equivalent to 1.3 billion tons or worth US$1 trillion (around P46 trillion), is wasted annually according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). There are both economic and environmental costs to this wastage. The forests and biodiversity cleared to create farmlands, along with the soils, energy, water, fertilizer, and labor utilized to produce food that is never eaten are also put to waste. A total of 28% of the global agricultural region is used to produce food that will eventually go to waste, according to the World Resources Institute. Furthermore, most of the greenhouse gas emissions are generated by food disposed of in landfills. With around 1 in 4 calories yielded remaining unconsumed, and a population of around 870 million without equitable access to food resources daily, this absurd disjuncture deems moral implications to this profound amount of discarded food.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines food loss as the decrease in the amount or nutritional quality of food that was intended for human consumption. FAO says that more than 40% of food loss in developing countries such as the Philippines happens before consumption—during production, postharvest, and processing.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reports that rice losses reach around 15% in the postharvest stage. In addition, an estimated 296,869 metric tons of rice, equivalent to P7.3 billion, is wasted in the country according to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PRRI). The discarded amount could have fed more than 2 million Filipinos.
The food waste reduction hierarchy set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) shows, through an inverted triangular diagram, the most preferred to the least preferred actions that can be done with food waste. Topmost is source reduction, followed by donation to the hungry, diversion to animal feed, recovering energy, creating compost, and at the bottom is disposal of food in landfills. The provision of this bill on the National Anti-Food Waste Campaign addresses the proper information dissemination on the ways by which Filipinos can follow the food waste reduction hierarchy.
All this information point towards a conclusion that there is more than enough food in the world for everyone. And as a member-state to the United Nations and a country bound to the Sustainable Development Goals that forward human rights and social justice, it is highly essential for the Government to facilitate in redirecting surplus to those who do not have food on their plates.
By getting food-related businesses to donate their surplus food to food distribution charities thus providing food security to those without access to their next meal, this bill seeks to ultimately end the cycle of having food end up in the trash instead of stomachs.
The bill also demands the involvement of private individuals and their local governments in efficiently arriving at a segregation campaign to have household food waste readily available for recycling into fertilizer or compost.