Vice President Jejomar Binay backed calls to lower income taxes as he stressed the need for a fair tax system.
“Our tax system must be seen as fair—meaning, those with fat pay checks pay higher taxes than those whose pay checks are less—and inflation-adjusted tax brackets, even if it will result in short-term reduction of tax revenues,” Binay said at the Pandesal Media Forum in Quezon City.
He cited figures from the Management Association of the Philippines that showed that those who earn P500,000 yearly pay 32 percent income tax, the highest in Asia.
Binay said that not one of the 17 tax proposals on income tax is expected to be passed by Congress.
“Kung hahayaan natin ito at hindi tayo kikilos na maamyendahan ang sistema ng pagbubuwis sa bansa, darating ang araw na ang tax rate ng mga guro, pulis, sundalo, at nars ay sintaas na ng tax rate ng mga milyonaryo sa bansa (If we don’t do anything to push tax amendments, time will come when teachers, policemen, soldiers and nurses will have the same tax rates as millionaires),” he added.
The vice president also pushed for lower corporate income tax rates to entice foreign investors.
“We also aim to gradually reduce the current corporate income tax rate from 30 [percent]to a realistic and reasonable rate consistent with our ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] peers,” he said.
“We believe that lower corporate income tax will eventually draw more foreign investments, resulting in more jobs and revenues for the government,” he added.
If he becomes president, Binay said intensive jobs creation will be given priority.
“Over the long term, we aim to be able to provide decent jobs to Filipinos so that migration becomes a matter of choice rather than of necessity. As we work towards that end, however, we shall also continue to work for the welfare of our OFWs, particularly in protecting them against the threat of illegal recruitment and human trafficking, and in working bilaterally with host nations to ensure a better working environment for them,” he said.
He identified the “five biggest job generators” as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, business process outsourcing, and exporting, and vowed to strengthen these sectors.
“We will also ensure that micro, small, and medium enterprises particularly in the countryside are supported by giving them greater access to financing, trainings and education,” he said.
The Vice President also vowed to make the manufacturing and export sectors more competitive by improving infrastructure and technology logistics that will lower the cost of production, ensure affordable and reliable power supply, and streamline the bureaucratic process of starting a business in the Philippines.