June 13, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte underscored on Wednesday the need to collect taxes to fund the "many ambitious projects," including free higher education, of his administration.
Duterte made the statement during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the Commission on Higher Education, 112 state universities and colleges and 78 local universities to launch the implementation of Republic Act No. 10931, otherwise known as the Free Higher Education Law.
He said during their Cabinet meeting Monday night, Education Secretary Leonor Briones was the single voice who mentioned the people must pay their taxes.
"They have to pay for the government to work. There is no other way where we can raise the money for the needs of the Filipino people except through taxes...we have so many ambitious projects trying to keeping up with the modern trend of education that giving it free, almost free for all," he said.
Duterte's emphasis on the need to raise more revenues came as some quarters, including lawmakers, have been calling for the suspension of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to temper inflation.
Duterte said he favors higher sin taxes, including on sugar.
The government has been pushing for the P8-trillion Build, Build, Build infrastructure projects until 2022. Celerina Monte/DMS
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