HOPE for passage of a measure that will lower income taxes faded on Tuesday as the Palace again turned down the proposal, this time presented by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
The two Congress leaders met with President Benigno Aquino 3rd as well as Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares, among others, to convince them on the need to approve a tax cut bill.
“We made our pitch. We had a meeting with several people. We had a vigorous presentation of our case, and there was an opposition from Purisima, saying that we should not be doing anything piecemeal…that we should deal with the whole income tax scheme,” Belmonte told reporters.
The proposed Tax Reform law revises the tax brackets for the following to expand the number of taxpayers: those earning P180,000 and below annually are exempted from paying taxes, while those who annually earn above P180,000 to P500,000 will pay nine percent.
Individuals whose yearly income is above P500,000 to P10 million will pay 17 percent, while those with more than P10 million annual income will have to pay 30 percent.
The rates are based on family and income expenditure survey, labor force survey and census.
“I am still waiting for their decision. It was a strong pitch from us and we’re waiting, considering that we have relatively a few days [to discuss it]before the [election]campaign season,” Belmonte said.
“If this was done one or two years ago, this might have been an option. But due to the shortness of the time, maybe it cannot be done anymore, unless it is certified as urgent,” he added.
If the bill is certified as urgent by the President, it can be approved on second and third reading on the same day provided that the bill is already pending in the plenary.
The House Committee on Ways and Means headed by Marikina City (Metro Manila) Rep. Romero Quimbo is yet to come up with a committee report on the measure.
Congress will adjourn on December 18 for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Session will resume on January 18, 2016.