By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Oct. 25 (PNA) – Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said on Sunday he is hoping that the Income Tax Reform Bill will be passed before President Benigno Aquino III steps down in June next year.
”We are still hoping that it will be passed in the remaining year. We will continue to push it,” Angara said in a radio interview.
Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, said even the Reproductive Health and Sin Tax laws have been passed in the final year of the last 15th Congress.
”If the President and Congress want to pass it, it will be passed,” Angara said. “While we’re still in session, we are still hopeful.”
Angara said the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are already studying carefully the proposal and “I think they have enough time to study it.”
He said the intervention of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon will also play crucial role in the passage of the measure.
Angara is the author of the Senate Bill 2149 which seeks to compress the net taxable income brackets, and lower tax rates especially for low- and middle-income earners.
He said the Philippines has the second highest individual income tax rate in the Southeast Asia region at 32 percent next to Thailand and Vietnam’s 35 percent, and the highest value added tax (VAT) at 12 percent.
Angara further noted that the country’s current individual income tax bracket has remained unchanged since 1997, even when the consumer price index has almost doubled. (PNA)