I regret that the Senate did not vote in favor to my proposed amendment in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Bill, which is to exempt from tax the sale of low-cost house and lot and other residential dwellings with selling price of not more than 3 Million pesos.
What is currently drafted in the TRAIN bill is a tax exemption only for sale of house and lot and other residential dwellings located outside of Metro Manila with selling price of not more than 2 Million pesos.
I proposed to delete the phrase "located outside of Metro Manila" since as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement, my desired result is to see the redevelopment of Metro Manila.
The reality nowadays is that urban employees prefer to live near their workplace due to gruelling traffic. In Metro Manila, there remains several areas that may be developed for vertical housing.
This proposed amendment is also in consonance to my proposed On-site, In-city or Near-city Resettlement Program (Senate Bill No. 331), which seeks to promote the right of the people, particularly the less fortunate, to access housing within the city.
On my proposed increase of tax exemption on sale of low-cost housing with selling price not more than 3 Million pesos, my rationale is to support Filipinos who have long been dreaming of having their own houses. This tax exemption ceiling will enable more families to acquire their own houses at an affordable and decent cost.
I have long said that social problems may accompany and worsen the country's immediate housing backlog of 1.4-Million if we do not provide for a practical, comprehensive and continuing urban development and housing program.
More than the expected revenue, I hope that the TRAIN proponents will also see our efforts to produce low-cost housing to uplift the living condition of our poor and homeless citizens.
Source: Senate of the Philippines