• Aflatoun Boosts Financial Literacy of Teachers

    CLARK, PAMPANGA  – It’s not only the youth who benefit from NATCCO’s flagship youth program , Aflatoun, but teachers as well.  This has been the observation of Lasalette Gumban, NATCCO Youth Program Coordinator.      Ms. Gumban spoke before participants at the Read More
  • Alex Raquepo: Ilocos Region's Co-op Man

    Rare are those who have been steeped in cooperative principles in their youth and continue to do so decades later.  Alexander B. Raquepo is among that rare breed.   Alex hails from Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur and is the eledest Read More
  • COOP-NATCCO Partylist Thumbs Down Divorce Bill

    QUEZON CITY --  After consultations with co-op leaders, Coop-NATCCO Partylist Representatives Anthony M. Bravo and Sabiniano Canama voted against the Divorce Bill.   After quoting the Bible on social media, Rep. Bravo said: “Bilang isang Kristiyano, ito ang aking personal Read More
  • Millennials Own Stage at Co-op Leaders Congress

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – In Filipino culture, young people are told to listen to their elders.  But at the recent 16th Co-op Leaders Congress held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, it was the other way around.     Millennials comprised most Read More
  • 3rd Tagum Youth Camp Fosters Bonds & Learning

    TAGUM CITY -- Seventy-eight teen-aged strangers turned friends as they participated in Tagum Coop’s Youth Laboratory 3rd Summer Youth Camp last May 4-5, 2018 at the Energy Park. The two-day-one-night camp had the theme “Bring the Change! Be the Youth Leader Read More
  • GA Pushes Integration, Technology, Youth, Enterprise

    CAGAYAN DE ORO – The NATCCO Network ended the 41st General Assembly and Leaders’ Congress on a high note, as the leadership of one of the largest co-op federations in the country pushed for integration, the use of technology to improve Read More
  • Guideco Becomes Town Center thru Pinoy Coop ATM

    Guimbal, ILOILO -- This quaint town is a coastal fourth class municipality of 33,820 people.    Its 9 kilometers of scenic shoreline has attracted tourists, an industry that supplements its citizens’ agricultural livelihood.   In April 1993, the Southern Iloilo Development Read More
  • St. Vincent Ferrer Parish MPC Wins Bagwis Award

    ODIONGAN, Romblon –  NATCCO Network member St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative recently received the Bronze DTI-Bagwis Award for the excellent operation of its retail stores.   The Department of Trade and Industry, through the award, “gives due recognition to Read More
  • Co-op Opens Gas Station in Tagbilaran City

    TAGBILARAN CITY -- The Bohol Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative which has 1,000 members inaugurated on February 27 its own gasoline station.  Jannete Romero and Melchor Daniel, BCMPC’s Manager and Chairman, respectively, led the opening of the cooperative’s Phoenix Gasoline Station, the first Read More
  • Ang Hindi Nauulingan

    May kasabihan na: “Walang humahawak ng palayok na hindi naulingan.”  Dumating ang panahon na ginamit ito patungkol sa mga taong may kinalaman sa mga usaping salapi.  Tanggap ng marami na kapag pera ang pinag-uusapan, halos lahat na lang ata ay Read More
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President Signs TRAIN, Co-op Tax Exemptions Remain

Cooperators all over the country heaved a sigh of relief as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) on December 19 – but maintaining the tax exemption of cooperatives as promulgated in Articles 60 and 61 of the Cooperative Code of 2008.
 
One of President Duterte’s campaign promises prior to the 2016 elections was to simplify or reform the tax system.  And he fulfilled that promise with the tax reform law.  The Department of Finance, the government agency charged with implementing the TRAIN Act will start in 2018.
 
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said during the Senate deliberations last September: “The tax reform bill seeks to achieve a simpler, fairer, and more efficient tax system characterized by lower rates and a broader base, to encourage investment, job creation, and poverty reduction.” 
 
A Dept. of Finance think-tank led by Undersecretary Carl Kendrick Chua drafted the TRAIN Bill, and submitted the initial draft to Congress in September 2016.  The original draft listed some 87 tax exemptions for repeal.  
 
It was not until January 2017, when Co-op Bloc Partylist lawmakers in Congress found out that the TRAIN Bill included in the list of exemptions to be repealed the co-op tax exemptions.  Co-op leaders urged DOF officials to drop the co-op tax exemptions from the list.
 
Co-op Bloc Congressmen Sabiniano Canama and Anthony Bravo of COOP-NATCCO Partylist, and Rico Geron of AGAP Partylist invited co-op leaders to fill up the Gallery of Congress, communicating the Sector’s opposition to the repeal of their tax exemptions.
 
The NATCCO Network in April distributed to member cooperatives a draft Board Resolution, resolving for co-ops to oppose the repeal of tax exemptions and writing or even visiting their District Representatives to signify their protest.   
The TRAIN Bill enjoyed the support of many lawmakers because it provides big personal income tax cuts for the average taxpayer.  To make up for the revenue loss, the Reform Act broadens the tax base by slapping additional tax on tobacco, sweetened beverages, cars, cosmetic surgery (except for accident victims needing it), fuels, coal, lubricants, and metals.  Professionals will be charged a flat rate of 8% on gross revenue.  Estate Tax will likewise be pegged at 6%.
The Lower House, however, made some modifications and removed some co-op tax exemptions from the Repeals List. 
 
This version was approved in May 2017.
 
The Senate began conducting plenary debates on the revised measure, Senate Bill 1592, on September 23 and finally approved it with substantial amendments on November 28.
 
Even with the co-op tax exemptions out of the Repeals List, Rep. Canama would call co-op leaders to the Senate.   Co-op leaders resolved to be vigilant and ensure that the co-op tax exemptions would not be “re-inserted” into the Repeals List.  
“We will guard the TRAIN in the Bicameral conference meetings . . . all the way to Malacanang before President Duterte signs it into law!” said Rep. Canama at a meeting with co-op leaders in the Senate on November 22.
 
The bicameral conference committee meetings lasted for 30 hours.
 
In an interview with COOP-NATCCO Partylist Rep. Ben Canama, the Implementing Rules & Regulations (IRR) of the TRAIN will begin drafting sixty days after President Duterte’s signing, and details of the tax exemptions on co-ops will be discussed, and the Co-op Bloc will be there to provide inputs.
 
According to Philippine Cooperative Center’s former Chairman Hamilcar Rutaquio, one of the agreements arrived at during the discussions between co-op leaders and the Dept. of Finance was that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) would be 1) CDA will submit data on cooperatives’ a) transactions with members and non-members, and b) their Community Development Fund as one of the Statutory Funds listed in CDA’s Memorandum Circular 2015-06.  The CDF will serve as the tax paid by co-ops; 2) that BIR can view the books of cooperatives.
 
According to President Duterte, “the implementation of these laws will serve as our initial step in making the Philippines an upper-middle-class country by 2022.”
 
Of the P120 billion worth of government revenues that the tax reform law is expected to generate, 70 percent will be earmarked for infrastructure projects while the remaining 30 percent will go to social services.
 
With reports from www.dof.gov.ph , www.manilatimes.net and www.rappler.com
 
 
 
 
 

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