THE Tax Management Association of the Philippines and 21 business, professional, trade and labor groups submitted a “compromise” tax cut measure that will benefit the Filipino workers.
But so far, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. was non-commital on the proposal although he said he would meet with Senate President Franklin Drilon to talk about the proposal that the TMAP said would immediately alleviate the public’s tax burden.
“While a compromise proposal involving only the updating of the tax brackets is not what TMAP and its coalition partners had in mind, TMAP believes that the compromise proposal will immediately alleviate somehow the plight of salaries of individuals who are overtaxed under the current system,” said TMAP president Terence Conrad Bello.
“We will look into it” was all Belmonte could say amid his current troubles mustering a quorum in the House of Representatives, but opposition leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez welcomed the proposal.
“Anything that will provide a relief to our workers is a welcome development. We do hope that Congress will act on this proposal,” Romualdez said of the proposal which aims to update the current income tax brackets.
“We voiced our support for various income tax reform measures then pending in the Congress to restore fairness in the Philippine tax system and make our country competitive with our Asean neighbors,” Bello said.
Signatories to the TMAP proposal include the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Australia-New Zealand Chamber and Commerce of the Philippines.
Government data show the Philippines has the second highest individual income tax rate in the region at 32 percent next to Thailand and Vietnam’s 35 percent, and the highest value added tax (VAT) at 12 percent as the country’s current individual income tax bracket has remained unchanged since 1997.
Taking the cue from Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue, Malacañang has repeatedly rejected the passage in Congress of a long-pending bill mandating adjustments in individual and corporate income-tax rates.
Palace officials have said the government “cannot put our fiscal sustainability and credit rating at risk by doing piecemeal revenue-reducing legislation.”