In delivering the national statement at the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development (FfD) Forum held in a hybrid format at the UN Headquarters on 25-28 April 2022, Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko highlighted the government’s tax reforms under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which were crucial for the country’s fiscal sustainability during the pandemic. Undersecretary Tionko noted that these reforms remained important in the country’s recovery, stressing the need for tax systems to be equitable, effective and transparent.
“Our tax reforms are centered on measures that provide significant tax relief to individuals, MSMEs and corporations, broaden the tax base, and increase excise taxes on the consumption of harmful products. These programs make our tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient,” Undersecretary Tionko stated.
Undersecretary Tionko also said that efficient and sound fiscal policies continue to be the Philippines’ primary tools in ensuring that development projects for social and economic amelioration are pursued and accelerated.
Undersecretary Tionko said that the Philippines will adopt a robust agenda focusing on improved healthcare and transport capacity, easing local and international movement restrictions especially in global value chains, digital transformation, and resumption of face-to-face learning. This will minimize the scarring effects of the pandemic on the country’s economy and human capital. She reaffirmed the utmost priority of the government to continue to strengthen the country’s resilience against future external shocks, may it be the next health emergency or those triggered by natural and man-made calamities, including climate impacts.
Cognizant that rebuilding a stronger global economy amidst present and future external shocks will be arduous, Undersecretary Tionko stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation and global efforts to build a healthier and more sustainable world for future generations.
In addition to leading the Philippine delegation to the Forum, Undersecretary Tionko also served as a panelist in the Forum’s session on “Building a fair and effective tax system and combating illicit financial flows” where she further elaborated on the CTRP.
The ECOSOC FfD Forum is an intergovernmental process mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year’s Forum was held in a hybrid format from 25-28 April 2022 at the UN Headquarters, New York and brought together Heads of States, ministers, high-level officials from ministries of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation, Executive Directors of the World Bank and IMF, as well as senior officials from the UN system, including the major institutional stakeholders, CSOs and other international organizations.