Labor groups criticize Aquino for rejecting income tax reforms

By , on September 16, 2015

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III (Photo from Aquino's official Facebook page)
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (Photo from Aquino’s official Facebook page)

MANILA – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s move to junk the passage of the Congress’ income tax reform bill, which sought to lower the personal and commercial income tax rates, earned him irks from fixed-income employees.

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) shunned Aquino for settling with the ‘status quo’ which was a ‘short-sighted’ move and meant no change for overburdened workers.

PM chairman Renato Magtubo expected that the President would again favor the business economy rather than the working class.

Aware of the revenue losses the tax reform would entail, the PM pointed out that the assumed loss of P30 billion in revenues was only about two percent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) total tax collection of P1.335 trillion.

“While in the short run, government coffers will be affected, in the long run, the government and the economy will benefit from it,” Magtubo said.

“By making the P30 billion a non-negotiable bottom line, President Aquino simply views taxation as a tool for revenue generation and not as an equalizer or instrument for social justice,” he added.

TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, for his part, acknowledged the revenue losses but asserted that these could be regained as the workers would have increased buying capacity.

“We were expecting that the least he would do is to revise the figure into a compromise, if not, a phased tax cut. But to rather shot down the entire measure outright, President Aquino has permanently sealed further the fate of workers,” Tanjusay said.

“He (Aquino) has not provided any relief for workers who helped build a competitive economy under his administration,” he added.