Press Release
April 20, 2016


Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said that reducing the individual income taxes is just the first step toward providing relief to lower or middle income taxpayers, as the ultimate goal of "Gobyernong may Puso" is to exempt all those earning less than P1 million a year from paying taxes.

Escudero said he and his presidential running mate, Sen. Grace Poe, want hard-working Filipinos to get a higher take-home pay after taxes to boost their purchasing power, which in turn would help stimulate the economy.

"Our long-term goal is to exempt all Filipinos earning less than one million pesos a year from paying taxes and that includes all our teachers. We hope to have this implemented in six to eight years from now," Escudero said during a dialog with teachers and students at the Agusan campus of the Philippine Normal University in Prosperidad town in Agusan Del Sur recently.

Escudero, who is running under the "Gobyernong may Puso" platforms of rapid and inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, transparency and global competitiveness, said such proposal would "benefit 11 million Filipinos nationwide whatever their profession, work or job may be."

"To our mind, money well spent is best left in the hands of our people instead of giving it to government and spending it on some useless projects or some officials earning a commission or any amount of money through corruption," said the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Escudero maintained that reducing the income tax, which at 32 percent is one of the highest in Asia, is the best way to ease the burden of ordinary workers who pay the biggest chunk of the total income tax collected by the government.

The lawmaker said that even if the salary of government workers have been increased with the implementation of the new Salary Standardization Law, the prevailing income tax rate will only gobble up the pay hike of the estimated 1.53 million government personnel.

"You know how much taxes you have to pay? It's equivalent to one and a half months' salary. You worked for 12 months in a year and you pay taxes equivalent to one and a half months," Escudero told the teachers in the audience.

He said a portion of the salary of workers that goes to the government was "simply too high and too much."

"So, yung isa't kalahating buwan na trabaho mo sa isang taon hindi napupunta sa iyo 'yan. Napupunta iyon sa gobyerno," Escudero explained.

Earlier, Escudero said that if he and Poe win in the elections, salaried workers could expect a higher take-home pay by the last quarter of 2016, as lowering income taxes would be a priority in their first 100 days in office.

According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the government stands to lose P30 billion in tax revenues if the bill adjusting income tax brackets and lowering rates is passed into law.

But Escudero said the government can afford the income tax cuts since the projected loss is not even 10 percent of the P700 billion that it underspent since 2011.

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