Home » Headline, News

PRESS RELEASE: Solon warns Aquino not to veto bill on tax-free bonuses

29 January 2015 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE

29 January 2015

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Solon warns Aquino not to veto bill on tax-free bonuses

The principal author in the Lower House of a bill Congress approved last year seeking to raise the tax exemption cap for 13th month pay and other bonuses warns President Aquino not to veto it, or he will face the anger of around 43 million workers in the private and public sector.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio revealed that upon his inquiries, the bill that would increase tax-exempt bonuses to P82,000, or nearly three times from the current P30,000, has been pending as early as January 14 with the Office of the President, who referred it to its legal department “for further study.”

The Department of Finance (DOF) is reportedly urging the President to veto the measure, and proposes instead a lower tax exemption ceiling of P55,000 through an administrative order.

“All working people want some relief from unconscionably high personal income taxes. They are eagerly awaiting enactment of this bill into law as soon as possible.  A Presidential veto will deny the majority of Filipinos, who are mostly low- and middle-income earners, the higher take-home pay that they so justly deserve and need,” maintained Tinio.

Tinio noted that the fact that Pres. Aquino is entertaining the thought of vetoing this drastically needed measure, approved unanimously both by the House of Representatives and the Senate, shows that he is really against any measure of economic relief for the people.  “Maa-isolate talaga siya mula sa taumbayan bilang isang pangulong anti-mamamayan kung babaliwalain niya ang bill na ito.”

“A veto would send a strong signal to ordinary working people and their files that the Aquino administration has little regard for their welfare. On the other hand, it has no qualms about using taxpayers’ funds to subsidize the private profits of the big foreign and local corporations through public-private partnerships, tax holidays, and other incentives,” added Tinio.

He noted the widespread resentment among teachers and other government employees at the taxes imposed on their year-end bonus and productivity incentive last December. “Mabubugbog siya sa batikos kung hindi niya isasabatas ito,” warned Tinio.

Tinio noted that a veto on the tax-exemption bill will result in a Teacher I or Administrative Aide (a mid-level earnings of P18,549 monthly and the minimum salary level of P9,000, respectively) not being able to take home the full amount of his or her bonuses because at least one-fourth of these will exceed the P30,000 cap and be added to their taxable pay.  A higher taxable pay will mean higher income taxes and less take-home pay for the employee or worker.

Tinio also questioned the DOF proposal to raise the tax ceiling to P55,000 through an administrative order in lieu of the enactment of the measure.

The new ceiling set by the bill was based on computations on the value of P30,000 today.

“Based on the movement of the CPI [Consumer Price Index] with 2006 as the base year, the P30,000 ceiling first set in 1994 should now be P82,000,” said Tinio. “The DOF proposal falls far short and will continue to unjustly burden workers.”

The legislator also cited a study by the UP School of Economics, which said that “Revenue foregone as a result of improved equity comes at a small price between ₱4.3 billion and ₱5.6 billion.”

In the event that the President decides to veto the measure, Tinio vowed that he would urge colleagues  to overturn it. “Congress must take a stand and side with working people.” ###

Comments are closed.