SW convenor participates in Switzerland tax debate

Mark Garcia

A co-convenor of the Social Watch from Oriental Negros presented the concerns of the Philippine civil society amid the global tax phenomenon at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, recently.

Prof. Leonor Magtolis-Briones, former national treasurer of the group, said, "If the government continues to give tax cuts and tax holidays to attract investors, where will we get money to finance primary education, build roads, and reduce infant mortality? We will source it from indirect taxes such as the Value Added Tax which burdens more Filipinos."

She said the giving of more tax cuts by the government as a result of worldwide competition to attract multinational corporations and foreign investments, may result in lack of revenues for development and poverty reduction.

With Briones in the discussion and debates were Egypt Finance Minister Youssuf Boutros-Ghali; Dr. Peter Athanas, chief executive officer of Ernst and Young; Brian McK. Henderson - chairman, Global Public Sector Client Group, Merrill Lynch and Company.; and Dr. Sheila Killian from the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick.

The forum was jointly sponsored by the World Economic Forum and Bread for All, the Federation of the Swiss Protestant Churches Development Agency.

Visayan Daily Star
Dumaguete City, Philippines
February 15, 2006