Philippines: Bill plans tax on tech firms to fund COVID-19 fight

A bill has been introduced in the Philippines’ parliament, aiming at taxing big tech firms such as Facebook, Google and Youtube, Netflix and Spotify, to raise funds for the COVID-19 fight.

25, May. 2020

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

HANOI, VNA - A bill has been introduced in the Philippines’ parliament, aiming at taxing big tech firms such as Facebook, Google and Youtube, Netflix and Spotify, to raise funds for the COVID-19 fight.

The bill looks to raise 29 billion PHP (571 million USD) by imposing a value added tax on digital services provided in the Philippines, a key growth area for e-commerce transactions as its people are among the world's heaviest users of social media.

Congressman Joey Salceda, the bill's principal author, said the country spent to fight COVID-19 and it needs more to continue fighting it and recover.

He said starting next year, funds raised from new taxes would also be used to finance digital programmes such as a national broadband project and digital learning to fill the education gap caused by school closures.

However, it may take a while before the proposal is scheduled for debate as lawmakers are busy deliberating on an economic stimulus package to jumpstart the Philippine economy, ravaged by pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Last week, neighbouring Indonesia announced plans for VAT of 10 percent on digital products from July to boost revenues amid the pandemic. - VNA