Solons appeal to President Aquino to reconsider his position on relaxing tax reform

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA. Nov. 25 (PNA) — Members of the House Minority Bloc on Wednesday appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to reconsider the measure that will reform the income tax.

1-BAP Party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said that without increasing the salary of the ordinary people which includes those in the private sector, reforming the income tax will surely increase the purchasing power of every employee in the country.

“We in the House of Representatives appealed to President Aquino to reconsider his position on reforming income tax. This is the clamor of ordinary people which we represent. We also asked our colleagues to support the measure which is pro poor,” he told House reporters during the weekly news forum of the minority.

He said Congress has the power to override should the chief executive vetoed the measure. All they need is 2/3 votes or 217 votes of warm bodies in the plenary.

He said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. should lead the House of Representatives in passing the measure and let Senate President Franklin Drilon to do their job.

“We need to move first in order to achieve our goal. Tax measure emanates in the House,” he pointed out.

This was echoed by Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares who is one of the authors of the bill.

He said there is still time to push the measure and he is very sure that once the bill becomes a law, it could add feathers to President Aquino’s shoulder and be part of his legacies during his incumbency.

“Let us pass this measure as members of Congress. Let us do our job as legislators,” he stressed.

On Tuesday, Belmonte admitted that the measure was ‘dead’ due to lack of material time after President Aquino rejected it.

President Aquino opposed again the proposal, claiming it was designed to get votes, but would reduce government revenues.

Belmonte said there is no more chance to have the bill approved because of lack of material time to debate on the bill and put to a vote on the floor. (PNA)