Amid to the budget reduction of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2018, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV on Thursday has resumed his push for the approval of his bill which allows taxpayers to choose which agency they want to allocate five percent of their taxes.
This came after the House of Representatives had cut down CHR’s budget from P678-million to only P1,000.
“We want Filipinos to get involved in governance and the budget process,” Aquino said.
The Senate Bill No. 699 or The People’s Fund Bill, which was filed last July 20, 2016, gives taxpayers a chance to choose or decide which agency they want their taxes to go.
“Galing sa pinaghirapan ng taumbayan ang ginagamit na pondo ng pamahalaan kaya nararapat lang natin silang konsultahin kung paano ito gagamitin [The funds that the government use come from the people’s hard work that’s why we ought to consult it with them on how to manage it],” the senator added.
Aquino made the declaration after netizens have expressed their desire to donate funds to the commission and started the “#GiveMyTaxToCHR” campaign.
Instead of allocating their tax to the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) “Oplan Tokhang”, netizens have insisted to give their tax to the CHR. PNP’s Oplan Tokhang, on the other hand, was given a P900-million budget next year.
If the measure is approved, The People’s Fund Bill provides mechanisms for an individual taxpayer to share five percent of his or her income tax for any of the following: (1) an accredited charity or civil society organization; (2) a priority national or local government project; or (3) a legitimate political party.
Under this bill, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shall establish the mechanism that would enable individual taxpayers to select beneficiaries upon filing of their annual income tax returns.
Led by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), an inter-agency shall also determine the eligibility of respective organizations, and shall likewise set the conditions, guidelines, and reporting requirements for the receipt and use of the funds by the benefitting organizations.
“Kapag ito’y naisabatas, may kapangyarihan na ang taxpayer na piliin kung saan pupunta ang porsyento ng perang ito. Ginagawa na ito sa ibang mga bansa at panahon nang gawin ito sa Pilipinas [If this is approved, taxpayers will have a chance to decide where to allocate a portion of their tax],” Aquino said.
Meanwhile, senators including Aquino on Wednesday, vowed to restore the P678-million proposed budget of the CHR, which the House had cut down on Tuesday.