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More will pay lower taxes, Angara says

Posted at | Updated as of 03/21/14 7:05 PM

MANILA – Senator Sonny Angara on Thurday said his proposal to lower income tax rates will increase people's purchasing power.

"Pag mas maraming purchasing power ang pamilya, mas marami silang gagastusin," Angara said in an interview with "Aquino and Abunda Tonight" on Thursday.

The lawmaker believes that lowering income tax rates will mean more people will pay the right taxes.

He cited Singapore and Hong Kong, where compliance is high because of lower taxes.

"[Singapore and Hong Kong are] two of the jurisdictions na pinakamataas ang compliance ng tao kasi mababa ang tax, kaya willing sila [magbayad]," said Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

He said the country’s tax system is no longer progressive, because whether one is making P50,000 or P10 million a year, the person would still pay the maximum 32 percent tax rate.

"Wala na yung pagiging progresibo ng tax natin. Akyat natin ang ceiling para sa mga may kaya, pero everyone will get lowered, bababa lahat yun. Iyung 32 percent magiging 25 percent in three years. Iyun ang proposal ko," he said.

Under his Senate Bill 2149, Angara is looking at a 3-year adjustment period, with individual income tax rates cut from 32 percent to 28 percent in 2016, then to 25 percent in 2017.

The bill, he said, is already at the committee level.

"Pinapakinggan natin ang mga apektado, mga government agencies, and hopefully makapasa," he said.

SCHOLARSHIPS, LOANS FOR STUDENTS

Meanwhile, Angara said the government should be stricter in monitoring scholarship grants being given to students.

"Ang daming binibigay na scholarships ng gobyerno, pero hindi namo-moniotor kung saan napupunta – kung naging OFW na yung binigyan niya, kung galing sa mahirap na pamilya. Gusto ko tighter pa ang monitoring at yung talagang makakakuha ay yung very deserving," he said.

Angara praised the Aquino government's conditional cash transfer program, calling it a "very good program".

"Umpisahan natin dun. Iyung mga anak nila, binibigyan na ng allowance ng gobyerno, bakit hindi na lang bigyan ng scholarship ang mga anak nila?" he said.

He said there should be a commitment from the government in monitoring the scholarships grants.

HIGHER SALARIES FOR TEACHERS

Angara is also pushing for higher salaries for teachers, who only earn around P16,000-P17,000 a month.

"Sa proposal ko, P30,000 at least," said Angara, whose mother was a teacher.