THE Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental has passed a resolution requesting the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to exempt job order (JO) personnel from the imposition of the 3 percent withholding tax.
The resolution, authored by board member Jeremy Jonahmar Pelaez, is asking the BIR to exempt the JO employees earning P100,000 and below annually.
The resolution said the BIR order affects many JO personnel of the province, who are only earning about P6,880 to P8,287 gross per month, without benefits and security of tenure.
According to the Municipal Council members, these JO personnel are impossible to be engaged in independent trade or in any businesses, as stated in the order.
"They cannot be reasonably considered engaged in independent trade to deserve a tax treatment similar to those earning more than P100,000 because they are justifiably classified as marginal income earners," the order states.
The BIR may have overlooked and missed the difference between job order employees and those engaged in independent trade, the resolution adds.
The order "fell short of humane considerations, fairness, and justice" and failed to consider the Republic Act 9504 which exempts minimum wage earners from paying income tax on their taxable income, it says.
The order pointed out that the existing minimum wage in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, including the municipalities of Villanueva, Jasaan, and Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental, is only at P318 per day, an amount within the level of marginal income earners.
"Pursuant to Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 which mandates every local government unit to promote the general welfare of its constituents, the City Council seeks the understanding of the BIR to generously consider this request," the resolution stated.
The resolution will be sent to the BIR, President Rodrigo Duterte, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Committee on Ways and Means chair Senator Sonny Angara, and representative Dakila Carlo Cua, chair of the same committee in the House of Representatives.
The City Council of Misamis Oriental is also seeking support from the League of Provinces, of vice governors, cities, municipalities, and vice mayors league in the country, requesting them to do similar action.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano has opposed the order, saying it is illogical and stupid.
"I cannot understand, treating job orders as businessmen? I cannot fathom the basis of this circular. The job order employees, who receives the lowest salary, should not be taxed in any way," he said.
"It's illogical, we have so many big companies that do not pay taxes, these are what should the government run after," he added.