Senior House leaders push for passage of reduction of corporate and personal income tax

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, Oct. 29 (PNA) — If the proposed law reducing personal and corporate income taxes is still alive, senatorial candidate and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Thursday strongly urged his 286 colleagues to just approve it and let President Benigno Aquino III decides whether to support or veto the will of his “bosses.”

Romualdez made his appeal after Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo, who chairs the House committee on ways and means, said that the House of Representatives is not giving up on tax cut despite the renewed declaration of President Aquino vehemently opposing the proposal.

“Let Congress pass this very sensible and full of malasakit to workers’ plight proposal and give the final decision to the President,” Romualdez explained.

“At the end of the day, whatever the President’s decision he will arrive at will make or break his advocacy in championing the interest of his bosses. He will be accountable to that,” he pointed out.

House Deputy Minority Leader and 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, a former Justice secretary agreed with Romualdez as he called on Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to include the measure in the House agenda when Congress resumes session next week.

“I agree with the position of Congressman Romualdez that Congress should just pass it and leave the decision to the President. It’s up to him to oppose the will of the bosses,” Bello said

Romualdez also explained that the strong position of the House of Representatives for the passage of the measure will show compassion to the plight of ordinary workers.

“Its (bill) inclusion to the agenda will show malasakit to our workers that we are serious and sincere to pass this very vital measure. I appeal to all of our colleagues to strongly lobby for its passage and salvage it before the 16th Congress adjourns in February next year to give way to the campaign period,” Romualdez explained.

Belmonte expressed belief that the bill can still be refilled and deliberated by future Congresses should the present Congress fail to pass it.

“Well actually, that’s his opinion eh, he is the outgoing President, he would like to leave his own kind of legacy. But definitely that is not necessarily binding on anybody who may have different outlook,” said Belmonte.

Earlier, Romualdez said Malacanang should consider the Php44 billion potential revenues in exchange of passing the proposed law.

Romualdez backed Quimbo’s position that Malacanang should let go of the estimated Php30 billion annual revenue losses as an offshoot of reducing personal income tax rate alone, the projected losses in corporate tax is excluded, because the Php44 billion could be generated by two new revenue sources.

During a meeting at Malacañang recently, Quimbo explained to President Aquino that the government would generate a combined 44 billion new income from the Php13 billion tax in the implementation next year of Php50.6 billion Salary Standardization Law IV and Php33 billion from the pro-health measure seeking the imposition of a 10-percent ad valorem tax on softdrinks and all sweetened beverages. Quimbo said President Aquino has “pass the ball to the DoF (Department of Finance for further study.”

He was referring to the Php13 billion income from the implementation beginning next year of Php50.6 billion SSL 4 under the proposed 2016 Php3.002 trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to benefit 1.3 million state workers who will get an average Php3,000 monthly increase per employee using 13th month compensable month.

In the case of Php33 billion revenue source, Quimbo said this can be generated from a measure pending before his committee seeking the imposition of a 10-percent ad valorem tax on softdrinks and all sweetened beverages which officials of the DoF, academic experts and the Department of Health have been supporting.(PNA)