Econ Society organizes Visayas confab on TRAIN law impact

The Carolinian Economics Society (CarES) of the Department of Economics, School of Business and Economics organized the Visayas Economic Conference last February 21-22, 2019 with the theme, “TRAIN law: Transforming Revenue, Advancing Infrastructure for the Nation” held at the Gansewinkel Hall of the University of San Carlos Downtown Campus.

Economics quiz bowl and position paper competitions were held during the first day to provide an academic venue for senior high school students to show their knowledge and aptitude on economic principles and how they can apply these principles in analyzing issues of national interest. Participating schools included the University of San Carlos, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, St. Scholastica’s Academy, Sotero B. Cabahug FORUM for Literacy, PAREF Southcrest School, Inc., and the Philippine Science High School (PSHS)-Central Visayas Campus.

Both teams from PSHS placed 1st and 2nd in the quiz bowl competition while the team from USC bagged third place. Members of the winning team were Ereca Joy Debalucos, Pearl Merguerrette Arizo, and Gregory William Joseph Liu, accompanied by their coach, Ruby Cres Gayda. For the position paper competition, Juliana Marie Galbizo from PSHS won 1st place while Kirk Lance Quizon from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and John David Reyes from USC won second and third place, respectively.

On the second day, an economic conference was organized to discuss implications of the TRAIN law with speakers from the Department of Finance (DOF), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Bureau of Internal Revenue Region 7 (BIR 7), and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (CCCI).

Arnelyn Mitch Abdon, the Director of Fiscal Economics Research Office of DOF, provided an overview of the TRAIN law, highlighting the inflationary effects of the law. Despite its effect on the price level, the law only accounted for a relatively small fraction of the overall increase in prices for 2018.

Meanwhile, Dr. Francisco Dakila, the Assistant Governor of BSP, focused on the impact of TRAIN law on the Philippine economy. According to Dr. Dakila, the current deficit in the country’s balance of payment is necessary for growth. The current account could be in deficit if total investment is greater than total savings. This deficit, however, must be financed domestically, which warranted the implementation of TRAIN law as an important source of revenue for the government’s spending.

In the afternoon session, Jasmine Espinosa and Atty. Jose Hector Baranda from BIR Regional Office 7 discussed the implementing rules and regulations of TRAIN law and provided the latest updates of the tax reform.

Lastly, Consul Antonio Chiu of CCCI talked about the impact of new tax law on the business sector of Cebu. Open fora were held at the end of both morning and afternoon sessions and were moderated by Francisco Largo of the Department of Economics.

The conference concluded with the announcement of winners for the economics quiz bowl and position paper competitions.

by Jan Lorenzo Alegado, Department of Economics

Tags: Economics, Events

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