Next Finance chief studying tax reform, SSS hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2016 07:01 PM

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MANILA -- Incoming Finance Secretary Carlos "Sonny" Dominguez III believes a thorough study is needed before the administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte could push for income tax reform and pension hike, according to incoming Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez.

Alvarez told radio dzMM that data must first show that the government will not go bankrupt if it implements a tax reform package handed over by the Aquino administration and if it increases the pension of Social Security System (SSS) members.

"Sa tax reform package po na kanilang isinumite, ang talagang stand po diyan ni Secretary Dominguez ay teka lang, pag-aralan po muna natin. Kasi kumbaga iyung binibigay niyo sa aming package, mayroon po kayong six years para ipasa iyan pero hindi po nangyari. Pag-aralan po nating maigi kasi hindi naman po tayo pwedeng mag-adjust nang wala po tayong data na bina-back up iyan na masu-sustain pa rin natin ang gobyerno," she said.

"Iyung sa SSS, pinag-aaralan din pong maigi iyan kasi nga po nag-spark po talaga iyan ng mga debate. Ang goal po talga natin ay maitaas iyung pension pero ayaw po natin na malugi din 'yung SSS bilang isang system."

Alvarez also assured that their ongoing study on the two measure will no go on indefinitely, given Duterte's habit of setting strict deadlines for government initiatives.

"Ang maganda po kay Mayor Duterte is tuwing mayrooon siyang sinasabing pag-aralan mo ito, nagbibigay po siya ng timeline. Gusto kong matapos mo ito, kunwari by six months, at may maipakita na kayong solusyon sa ating problema. Iyun po ang isang seguridad na maipapasa po talaga natin," she said.

The tax reform package from the Aquino government includes gradually lowering the highest personal and corporate income tax levies to 25 percent, and reducing tax brackets to four. Currently, tax rates stand at 32 percent for individuals and 30 percent for companies while there are seven tax brackets.

Meanwhile, President Aquino in January blocked the proposed P2,000 across-the-board increase of monthly SSS pension, saying this will eventually drain the agency's fund reserves.

- DZMM TeleRadyo 2016, 12 June 2016