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Philippines: Lawmakers Approve Bill to Tax Foreign Digital Services

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Philippine lawmakers have approved a joint bill to tax foreign digital services, including popular streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO, and Disney.

 

The legislation, passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, proposes a 12% value-added tax on digital transactions involving non-resident digital service providers. The Senate announced this development in a Facebook post on Thursday.

 

The new tax measure aims to support domestic streaming platforms while global giants such as Netflix Inc. and regional provider Viu continue to expand in the Philippines and the broader Southeast Asia region. With a population of over 110 million, the Philippines presents significant growth opportunities for these global services.

 

According to Congressman Joey Salceda, the proposed tax could generate up to 18 billion pesos ($307 million) in its first year. The Department of Finance had earlier estimated that the measure could bring in about 84 billion pesos in revenue from this year through 2028. Lawmakers have indicated that approximately 5% of the revenue would be earmarked for the development of creative industries.

 

This tax proposal has been under consideration since the onset of the pandemic four years ago. However, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his economic team under pressure to increase revenue to address the government’s budget deficit and debt, the bill has gained renewed urgency. It will require President Marcos’ signature to become law.

 

In related news, the budget department unveiled a proposed 2025 national budget of 6.35 trillion pesos on Thursday. This figure represents a 10% increase from this year’s budget and includes plans for significant infrastructure spending.

 

 

 

Source: news , mb.com.ph

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