Economic Progress

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is president of PICPA in 1990 and ASEAN Federation of CPAs (1998-2000) and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer (2006).

HORIZON:  Things are looking great for our Philippine economy.  Inflation has been reined in and under control, the local currency is getting stronger especially against the dollar, our gross international reserves are on our highest level, and unemployment has gone down.  Moreover, the stock exchange is on a bull run – as direct foreign investments are coming in, complemented  by consistently increasing inflows of OFW remittances.

Let us pray that the trust and confidence of the people, both from abroad and on the domestic front – on the new Administration – will hold longer.  Those who are opposed to the new government will please hold their criticisms so that the positive strides will not get derailed. Now is the time for all our citizens to get united – forget individual selfish motives and work with one common cadence so we may achieve progress.

ABATEMENT:  The BIR has issued a new regulation, providing for policies and guidelines for the abatement of surcharges and/or compromise penalties in relation to the filing of tax returns and payment of taxes under certain conditions (RR No. 9-2010).  This issuance is a good opportunity for delinquent taxpayers to upgrade their regulatory compliance and come up with a good clean tax record.

The deadline to file the application for abatement is up to October 29, 2010 only.  Old property transfer documents like outdated deeds of sale – and more importantly, extrajudicial settlement of estates of long-deceased patriarchs or matriarchs.  If you have transactions qualified for abatement under this BIR regulation, better consult your lawyer or accountant so you can avail of the exemption from the 25% one-time surcharge (but not basic tax assessments and the 20% per annum interest).

PHIL. PESO:  No less than the London-based investment bank Barclays Capital has predicted that the dollar exchange rate will appreciate to P42.50 up to the end of the year.  For Year 2011 – it will escalate to P41.00 (or even P40.00) against the greenbacks.  The positive forecast is based on our strong macroeconomic fundamentals – and again, on  the inflows of OFW continuing remittances.  As a result our gross international reserves continue to grow and are on target to reach US$50 billion!

Of course, as we have written earlier – the upsurge in exchange rate of the local currency does not bode well for our exporters (of products and services, including BPOs) and OFW beneficiaries.  In contrast, Filipinos may opt to travel more – and import foreign goods – more so now that the Yuletide season  is forthcoming.  The retail sales this Christmas season (like in the national elections) will activate economic fundamentals that will further upgrade our GDP and GNP.

REAL ESTATE:  Opinions Unlimited believe that now is the time for real estate development as well as construction to achieve higher norms.  Socialized and economic housing have lots of slacks to fill-up.  It will be advisable for VP Jojo Binay (housing czar) to gather as much funds to finance the housing needs of the poorest of the poor and up to the still homeless middle class.  Affordable interest rates of housing loans should be assured by government.

In the same vein, funding for small and medium enterprises must be made available for our old and new entrepreneurs.  There are many rural industries that can be energized through our barangay small and  medium enterprises (BMBEs).  Our national and local government units must assist these businesses by giving honor to the privileges legislated for them including exemptions from taxes and fees.

LESSONS:  The best portion of a good man’s life:  his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.

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