Existing income tax brackets must be adjusted to current inflation rates, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay, as he called for reforms in the country’s taxation scheme.
“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, albeit reduction of tax revenues, is simply fairness,” he said on Friday.
The Vice President cited the Tax Management Association of the Philippines saying the country has the highest income tax in Asia–32 percent for those with at least P500,000 annual income.
“Dinaig pa natin ang pinakamayamang bansa sa Asean tulad ng Brunei kung saan 0 percent ang income tax rate at Singapore na nasa 2 percent lamang [We outdid Brunei Darussalam, the richest country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, where the income tax rate is 0, and Singapore, with only 2 percent],” he said.
Binay noted that while Malacañang has denied it several times, the belief that the administration has blocked the passage of pending legislation lowering the income tax cannot be disregarded.
Strong evidence is that no fewer than 17 proposals seeking reduction in income tax are pending in Congress, according to the Vice President.
“Ang kawalan interes ng administrasyon na bigyan ng ginhawa ang manggawang Pilipino ay hindi namin ikinagulat. Salamin ito ng kanilang manhid at utak-hasenderong pamamahala [Lack of interest in passing the measure and giving our workers a better life does not shock us. This mirrors the administration’s insensitivity and governance consistent with the mentality of an haciendero],” he said.
The family of President Benigno Aquino 3rd owns Hacienda Luisita, a sugar estate in Tarlac province, north of Manila.
Moreover, the Vice President said, the administration’s inaction is slowly hindering the growth of the Filipino middle class.
“Kung hahayaan natin ito at hindi tayo kikilos na ma-amyendahan 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 amend the taxation system, the day will come when the tax rate for teachers, policemen, soldiers and nurses will be as high as those of the country’s millionaires],” he added.