Congress to raise tax exemption limits on workers' bonuses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2014 12:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 18 2014 08:00 PM

MANILA - Congress is bent on increasing the tax exemption limit imposed on the bonuses of workers to P75,000 from the P30,000 provided under an archaic law.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said both houses of Congress are already aware of the need to revisit Republic Act 7833 in order "to provide relief to state and private workers whose purchasing power has been shrinking for years due to inflation, but still have had to deal with the consequences of an outdated law."

"The law was passed 20 years ago, and obviously, things have greatly changed - making such figures no longer reflective of current economic realities, thus making it even more difficult for the average Filipino worker to make both ends meet for him and his family," he said in a statement posted in the Philippine Senate website.

He noted the law was imposed on bonuses back in 1994 when the lowest monthly basic salary for government employees (Salary Grade 1, Step 1) was tagged at P2,800, while the President of the Philippines (Salary Grade 33) received P25,000 per month.

Today, the salaries of government employees is between P9,000 and P120,000.

The proposal to increase the limit came from Senate Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto.

"While most of the priority bills right now focus on macroeconomic progress, we have to make sure that necessary bills such as SBN 256 will also receive the required resources and attention towards their passage, for the sake of our countrymen," Drilon said.

"Our country's laws must always prioritize the improvement of the living standards of its citizenry. Bills like this are necessary to address the real-time concerns and immediate demands of our people," he added.