Marcos family's estate tax issue a challenge to incoming gov't credibility: professor

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2022 11:45 AM | Updated as of May 29 2022 02:48 PM

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MANILA — The estate tax liability of president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr's family poses a challenge on the government's credibility to ask for additional taxes from Filipinos, an economics professor said Sunday.

"Sa tingin ko, sa mga susunod na taon, magiging importante itong (estate tax liability) basehan sa kredibilidad ng gobyerno na manghingi ng karagdagang buwis sa mga Pilipino," said JC Punongbayan, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

"Kasi paano natin aasahan na magbayad ng karagdagang buwis ang mga Pilipino kung 'yong mismong pangulo na papasok ay hindi nagbabayad ng estate tax liability na pagkalaki-laki?" he added.

Marcos and his family are embroiled in a P203-billion estate tax liability, on top of other issues on ill-gotten wealth.

Asian Consulting Group chief tax advisor Mon Abrea earlier said Marcos should "resolve first" his family's tax issue before imposing new and higher taxes on the public.

Punongbayan and Abrea raised the issue after the Department of Finance proposed to impose new taxes and a wider value-added tax — ways to help pay the country's debt, which hit a record P12.68 trillion in March.

"Napakalaking pressure sa ngayon sa gobyerno na itaas ang buwis at mangalap ng karagdagang pondo kasi record high nga 'yong utang ng gobyerno natin," Punongbayan said of the debt that ballooned due to COVID-19 and infrastructure borrowing.

"Nandiyan 'yong pressure sa papasok na Marcos Jr administration na pagbutihin 'yong revenue collection," he added.

Punongbayan said the government could also continue borrowing money or cut back on spending.

"Pero sa ngayon kasi napakaraming hamon sa ating ekonomiya, kabilang dito 'yong recovery ng ating ekonomiya mula sa pandemic recession," he said.

"Isa itong matinding balancing act at buti na lang ay mayroon tayong experienced at competent na economic managers."

Marcos has named Philippine Competition Commission Chairperson Arsenio Balisacan as his socioeconomic planning secretary, a post previously held by the latter.

The incoming president also picked Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno as his finance secretary and former socioeconomic planning secretary Felipe Medalla as the next central bank governor.