A militant labor group demanded lawmakers’ action on the enactment of a pending bill that will exempt fixed and salaried employees earning below P180,000 annually from paying income taxes and in doing so “will be awarded with the votes of the wage earners next year”.
As this developed, the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino held a demonstration at the Batasang Pambansa urging lawmakers to expedite and put a House proposal to a vote.
To dramatize their demands, the militants brought pairs of improvised scissors to symbolize their demand for tax cuts during the protest.
“The lawmakers must realize not only the urgency, but also the systematic injustice inflicted upon the ordinary wage earners who stand to be the most tax-compliant sector and act as genuine representatives of their constituents and models of rectitude,” said Leody De Guzman, president of the BMP.
The group asserted that the lawmakers’ position on the issue will weigh heavily on the choice of wage earners in the 2016 elections.
“It is their choice if they opt to reap the gratitude or the ire of the workers in the ballots next year,” De Guzman said.
The militants were also quick to caution lawmakers who think that the proposal would not make it before the 16th Congress adjourns on the fifth of February next year for the electoral campaign period.
“If they are truly people-centered, reform-oriented and independent of the far-stretching influence of President Noynoy Aquino then the passage of the tax exemption bill remains do-able. This is the opportune time to display political will and improve the perception of the public of Congress,” he explained.
The approval ratings of both chambers of Congress has traditionally been very low even more so after PDAF scam in July 2013 were more than 200 past and present legislators were implicated in the fiasco.
Meanwhile, party-list coalition Sanlakas secretary-general Aaron Pedrosa demanded that government cease granting incentives to foreign multinational corporations, to offset whatever fiscal impact the reduction of income taxes may incur.
Sanlakas also announced that it will launch an online and offline negative campaign against legislators who will impede the passage of the tax exemption bill in Congress.
“Sovereignty resides in the people and it is our most urgent task to remind this democratic pillar to the legislators running for electoral post next year,” Pedrosa said.