A THIRD bill seeking to cut the present income tax rate of individuals to 15 percent has been filed in the House of Representatives.

Cebu Representative Rodrigo Abellanosa sought the income tax rate reduction through House Bill 4372, saying his proposal to lower taxes at unchanged salary levels will translate to higher "take home" pays for income earners, which would help workers cope with the higher costs of living and make local employment more attractive.

"Higher take home pays for income earners will ease some of the burden from our people and diminish the need to look for employment outside the country," said Abellanosa.

The neophyte lawmaker said for many years, the country has been experiencing the migration of skilled laborers looking for better-paying employment abroad.

"As movements to increase salary levels have shown to be minimally productive because of the opposition primarily of the private sector, it is necessary that the government seeks other ways of making our countrymen's lives easier, thus making local employment more attractive," the Cebuano lawmaker said.

HB 4372, now pending at the committee on ways and means, seeks to amend further Section 24 (A) (2) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, thereby reducing income tax rates.

Last March, Valenzuela City Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo filed House Bill 4099 seeking to lower individual and corporate income tax rates to 15 percent from the current 32 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

He said his proposal, if enacted into law, will definitely reduce the number of Filipinos who do not pay taxes as lower taxes mean higher level of compliance.

Gunigundo proposal stated that the advantages of having 15 percent income tax rates are enormous, among them it will stimulate the economy by providing individual taxpayers more after tax income or disposable income which they can either save or spend in the engagement of services or purchase of goods that they are subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT).

Last April, Quezon Province Representative Angelina Tan filed HB 4278 seeking to reduce the income tax rate of individuals from the present 32 percent to 15 percent for the country to fully benefit from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Integration in 2015 and to help the country's workforce cope with inflation and the higher costs of living.

Abellanosa's proposal explained that the tax rates for those earning P20,000 to P70,000 be lowered from the present 32 percent to 15 percent beginning January 1, 2015, then 13 percent beginning January 1, 2016 and 10 percent staring on January 1, 2017. (Sunnex)