Sen. Bam: Increase in taxes will hit poor Filipinos

Sen. Bam Aquino said the proposed tax reform measure would lead to higher prices of basic goods and other services if the government insists on passing it.

"Alam naman natin na ang pagtaas ng bilihin ay napakasakit sa bulsa ng maraming Pilipino," Sen. Bam said in a radio interview.

But without the necessary number to block its passage, Sen. Bam said the minority could only work on easing the measure's burden on the public.

"Kaya sinisikap naming siyasatin ang lahat ng probisyon. Ang binabantayan namin sa minority ay masiguro ang mga benepisyo sa tao, tulad ng pagkakaroon ng bagong bracketing sa personal income tax," added Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.

"Para naman sa mahihirap nating kababayan, hindi dapat ipataw ang mga bagong tax na magpapataas ng presyo ng bilihin, tulad ng excise tax on fuel, hangga't hindi nasisigurado ng gobyerno na magiging maayos ang unconditional cash transfer program," Sen. Bam stressed.

"Kailangan matiyak na mayroong makukuhang tulong kada buwan mula sa pamahalaan ang mga mahihirap na pamilya upang mabalanse ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin," Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam assured that minority senators are working to ensure that the public will be able to bear the brunt of the proposed tax reform measure, especially with the expected rise in prices of basic commodities and other services.

"Sana mas maging aktibo ang taumbayan, na kung ayaw nating tumaas ang bilihin, dapat magsalita tayo. Dumulog tayo sa ating mga congressman at senador kasi masakit sa pamilyang Pilipino kapag nagkaroon ng pagtaas sa presyo ng bilihin," added Sen. Bam.

In the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam has filed Senate Bill No. 697 that seeks to revise the current income tax bracket set by the National Internal Revenue Code, which was passed in 1997.

The measure seeks to amend Section 24 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, by adjusting the levels of net taxable income and simplifying the nominal tax rates for the purposes of computing the individual income tax.

If enacted into law, Sen. Bam said the measure effectively lowers the taxes on the 22-million Filipino working class.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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