Villanueva: New year, new tax (Part 1)

ON NEW Year’s day, I found myself standing in the midst of jeepney and taxi drivers attempting to explain the TRAIN Law. Our conversation started when I asked the taxi driver if prices of fuel products already increased.

I was impressed that these drivers are updated with the current events. They explained that fuel prices haven’t increased because the old stock should still be consumed before adjustments in the price are affected.

They expressed their concerns on their increasing costs, leaving them with lesser amount to take home to their families. The fare for taxi cabs and jeepneys do not adjust as fast as prices of fuel change. Proving further their knowledge in basic accounting where their revenues or whatever collections they receive, relatively remaining on the same level; deducting the expenses/costs, which are increasing; and so, their profits would be lower.

Another concern of theirs is the higher income tax that they will pay. I told them that the threshold for the income that will not be taxed is higher, and the bracket of taxable income will be higher. So, essentially, they will pay lower or even none. The tax will be additional deductions from the profits that could have been included to what their families can consume.

One of them mentioned that it is better me who are employees. I countered him saying that taxes are already deducted even before we receive our pay. We are forced to good. But he clarified that at least for us, we have other benefits, and employers have shares in the SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig contributions, unlike them. I does makes sense.

They clarified that they are willing to pay the tax as long as everything are fair. So, I asked them, what do they consider as fair?

Fairness in the payment taxes is not really on the progressive system of taxation, a system of taxation where higher incomes are charged with higher percentage of taxes. Fairness for them is when the government makes sure that everybody are paying taxes.

They are frustrated with the unspoken fact that many big businessmen do not pay the correct taxes. Some do not even pay.

This is the reality of the middle and lower classes. These sectors are most affected by this TRAIN Law. These are the sectors that pay their taxes religiously and justly.

These drivers represent those belonging to lower income classes, and I represent those from the working class. If we, who represent these classes, do not have any objections against these new taxes imposed, all those belonging to these classes do not object, as well.

What we really are fighting for is that all should pay the correct, just and fair taxes, and of course, for the government officials to also properly use these taxes that came from blood, sweat and tears of this country’s citizens.

More on the TRAIN Law next week.
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