PB2016-10: A Second Look at International and Domestic Oil Price Movements
Consistent with its statutory mandate to protect the public, the Department of Energy (DOE), through the Oil Industry Management Bureau, is tasked to closely monitor and evaluate actual oil price movements, both in the international and domestic markets to prevent unreasonable adjustments and abuses. However, the lack of transparency in the current practice of the DOE in using the rather “confidential” Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) data as the basis of retail prices of oil in the country, has even left stakeholders less equipped in analyzing the cost structure of domestic pump prices. This more than ever highlights the need for the DOE to at least reveal the indicative percentage share of each cost component of domestic pump prices so that third party verification is possible for the sake of transparency and consumer protection, rather than reasoning out that prices of domestic petroleum products tend to be sticky downward.
CN2016-03: Micro and Small Enterprises and the Burden of Taxation
Complicated business regulations stifle the growth of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) which have high potential for creating jobs especially in the countryside. MSEs which fail to join the formal sector have limited access to business credit and financing. Likewise, their employees are unable to avail social protection and benefits. Addressing the concerns of MSEs becomes more pressing in the light of heightened competition due to the economic integration among Southeast Asia member-states (i.e. ASEAN Economic Community).
DP2017-01: Value Added Tax in the Philippines: Revenue Performance and the Proposed Reform
The tax policy reform program is part of the priority agenda of the Duterte administration, in line with the commitment to promote positive change to the Filipino people. The tax policy reform program consists of four packages. The Department of Finance (DOF) submitted to Congress the first package of the proposed tax reform, known as the “Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion” (TRAIN) that seeks to lower and restructure personal income taxes while broadening the value-added tax (VAT) base and adjusting excise taxes imposed on petroleum products and automobiles. Expanding the VAT base by removing several exemptions and limiting the exempt list to raw food and other necessities (e.g. education, health) is one of the offsetting tax measures being proposed to cover the loss from the personal income tax cut. This VAT reform proposal will be the subject of this paper.
BB2016-03: Financing the FY 2017 Budget
The President proposes a spending program (on cash basis)1 of P2.96 trillion for FY 2017 (equivalent to 18.6% of GDP). This amount is 11.9% higher compared to the estimated FY 2016 disbursements of P2.65 trillion (equivalent to 18.2% of GDP). As indicated in Table 1, actual cash disbursement-to-GDP ratio under the Aquino administration was only 16.4% on average (2010-2015).
FF2017-07: Earmarked Fund for Higher Education Development
Earmarked revenues are required by law to be used for designated activities or purposes. Republic Act 7722 established the Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) in 1994 for the exclusive purpose of strengthening higher education in the country.
CSP-07: A Legislator's Guide in Analyzing the National Budget
The government budget serves multiple objectives. It can be used to stabilize the economy, redistribute wealth, create growth centers in less-developed areas, and provide social safety nets to vulnerable sectors of society. Other than a development tool, the budget is also an instrument for public accountability. A good budgeting system allows tracking of the use of the money collected from the people.