MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino reminded businessmen anew to pay the correct taxes even as he urged them to share profits with their employees.
In his speech at the biennial convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Aquino lauded its members for its philanthropic work and asked companies to take the initiative to include profit-sharing as part of their employee benefits.
Aquino also took the opportunity to trumpet economic gains under his administration, including the higher average GDP growth in 2010-2013 than what was recorded during the previous administration in the years 2006-2009.
He said that his administration was able to increase the budget for such agencies as DepEd, DSWD, and TESDA, without increasing taxes.
"Over the course of our administration, we have nearly doubled the budget of the Department of Education, increased the budget of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority by 84 percent, increased the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development by a multiple of seven, and tripled our infrastructure budget," he said.
"Might I note that we did this without raising taxes, apart from the sin tax. But of course, the appeal continues: Please pay the correct taxes."
Aquino urged the members of the FFCCCII "to do even more to help us empower the Filipino people."
He recalled a proposal he had when he was in Congress, calling for businesses to share part of their net new profits with their employees.
"The thinking behind this was simple: Our business environment had reached a point where management and labor had become too adversarial. Where labor wanted more benefits, management wanted to minimize costs, leading to a seemingly endless tug-of-war, often at the expense of potentially lucrative opportunities for all. My intent was to make the antagonistic 'you' versus 'I' into a 'we,' and the methodology was a system that rewards productivity, that allows all stakeholders to benefit from increased profits," Aquino said.
"I do not expect such a bill to be passed anytime soon, but perhaps your companies can take the initiative: make the effort to give your employees a little more, and it will serve to drive them to be even more productive, while at the same time spurring a virtuous cycle of trust, confidence, and sustained growth in terms of our economy."