At least 30 million people will get poorer under a proposed tax reform bill of the Duterte administration, the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives said on Thursday.
The Makabayan bloc, which groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Anakpawis and Kabataan, was referring to the Duterte administration’s proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion bill, which hikes diesel prices by P6 per liter and only exempts individuals earning P250,000 and below annually from paying income tax.
Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT party-list group and Rep. Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis party-list group noted that on top of increased fuel prices that would raise fares for public transport, those earning over P250,000 but less than P400,000 a year would have to pay 20 percent of the excess P250,000 under the new bill-a situation that would be detrimental to 11 million unemployed and underemployed workers, 4.7 million families below the poverty line, as well as the lower and middle income workers.
“Based on government records, you would need to earn P396,000 a year for a decent living. The DOF’s [Department of Finance] rate only exempts those annually earning P250,000 and below from paying income tax. The next bracket would already have to pay 20 percent. Add to that the excise tax on oil products that would have a domino effect. That’s quite a burden for a lot of people, including the professionals. Why not impose more taxes on cigarettes and liquor instead?” Tinio said.
LLANESCA T. PANTI