Palace: Tax holiday detrimental to economy-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
MALACANANG warned Sunday of serious repercussions, particularly on the economy, if proponents of a tax holiday would pursue with their plan.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that those pushing for a tax holiday due to pork barrel scam should think twice, citing that the taxes were the lifeblood of the country's economy.
He said the huge portion of the national budget is being supported by the taxes collected from the people.
"Kung susundin po natin ang kanilang katwiran ay baka po magkaroon 'yan ng hindi magandang epekto sa pagkalahatang takbo ng ating ekonomiya, ano, dahil nga po sa napakalaking ambag ng citizens'—o ng taxpayers' money, ano, sa pagpinansya ng ating pambansang budget at gastusin ng ating pamahalaan para sa public services na iginagawad sa mga mamamayan," Coloma said.
The Business Process Outsourcing Industry Employees Network (BIEN), a call center employees' association, earlier called for at least a three-month tax holiday amid President Benigno Aquino III's refusal to totally abolish pork barrel.
"It is clear to us that because the hard-earned taxes that we pay to the government only go to politicians' pockets, we'd rather keep our money," said Ian Porquia, BIEN president.
"The government should stop collecting taxes from us until it gains the credibility to manage our hard-earned money again. As responsible citizens, despite of the everyday crisis that we face, we continued to pay taxes on time with the confidence that they go to fellow Filipinos who are in need of government support. Sadly, the administration of President Aquino does not deserve that confidence anymore," said Porquia.
Coloma noted that the Philippines is among those countries with the lowest tax collection as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
"Kaya mas mainam po siguro na mapataas pa natin ang income tax collection ng ating bansa, ano, kung gusto po talaga nating mapahusay ang takbo ng ating ekonomiya," he said.
He also said that because of the sound macroeconomic fundamentals of government, the Philippines was given investment grade by known international credit ratings agencies.
"'Yung ikinaliligalig po ng mga mamamayan na mga anomalya, na diumano'y naging dahilan sa pagtagas ng pananalapi ng bayan, ay maliit lang pong porsyento—kung tutuusin 'yung involved doon sa pork barrel," Coloma said.
Overall, he said that the funds collected from the taxpayers were being utilized to useful projects, such as on infrastructure, social amelioration and poverty reduction programs.
"Kaya kung maaari lang po ay mag-isip-isip din ang ating mga kababayan. Tila po makitid ‘yung ganoong pananaw na dahil sila ay naliligalig doon sa anomalya hinggil sa pork barrel, na maliit na porsyento lang naman po ng atin pong pambansang gastusin o national budget, ay magtatawag na sila ng tax holiday o 'yung hindi na pagbabayarin ang mga mamamayan," he explained.
"Kailangan po sigurong pag-aralan nila nang husto dahil hindi po ito magiging kapaki-pakinabang at ang masasaktan po rito ay ang mga mamamayan ng ating bansa, lalong-lalo na po ‘yung mga dumaranas pa ng kahirapan na siyang recipients or beneficiaries ng malalaking pondo mula sa gobyerno na nanggaling din po sa taxpayers’ contribution," Coloma added. (SDR/Sunnex)