Advocacy group: Tax reform bill a monster


As the country commemorated on Thursday the 154th birth anniversary of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio, an advocacy group renewed its call on Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, not to pursue passage of the “monster” Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill.

At a news conference in Quezon City, Rodolfo Javellana Jr., United Filipino Consumers and Commuters president, stood firm on their ground to oppose the new tax reform measure.

Javellana likened the package of tax reforms to a “monster.”

The group launched a protest action to dramatize its opposition to the Senate’s approval of the Train bill on third and final reading last Tuesday.

Senator Risa Hontiveros voted against the bill.

According to Javellana, the new tax measure, if passed, would impose a 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) on socialized, economic or low-cost housing unit worth P2 million.

Under the existing law, such socialized housing is exempted from the 12 percent VAT.

“We have at least 5.7 million families without a decent home. Should Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and the lawmakers insist on the monster bill’s passage, the housing backlog for 5.7 million families without a decent home is expected to balloon,” Javellana told The Manila Times.

“The Bureau of Customs under the DoF [Department of Finance] is losing P200 billion in revenues due to technical smuggling. We actually do not need the monster bill if only the government would do its tax collection job well,” he said.



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