MANILA - Bayan Muna on Monday led protesters picketing outside the Batasan Pambansa as the House of Representatives prepares to deliberate the comprehensive tax reform package in the plenary session this week.
Party-list Representative Carlos Zarate withdrew as co-author in the government's tax plan, pointing out that it is anti-poor.
One objectionable provision, he said, is the imposition of 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) on those renting homes worth P10,000 and below.
"Ibig sabihin nito halimbawa ang upa mo ay P9,000, may dagdag na P1,080 kaagad. Sa buong taon, aabot ito ng halos P13,000," he said.
(This means, if for example, your monthly rent is P9,000, there would automatically be an additional P1,080. In a year, that would amount to almost P13,000.)
"Sa isang ordinaryong mamamayan, halos P13,000 na yan sa pambayad ng upa, wala pa sa pagkain, ay napakabigat na. So kung anomang gaang, walang silbi rin yun," he added.
(To an ordinary citizen, that almost P13,000 to pay for rent, without allocation for food, is already too heavy. So no matter how much we try to lighten their taxes, it would be useless.)
The proposal reduces personal income taxes while imposing new and higher excise taxes and removing exemptions to value-added tax.
"Dito sa adjustment ng income tax, di makikinabang ang ordinaryong mamamayan dahil ang minimum wage earners ay exempted na sa income tax. Wala nang adjustment sa kanila," he said.
(Ordinary people will not benefit in this adjustment of income tax because minimum wage earners are already exempted from paying their income tax. There wouldn't be any adjustment then.)
"Ang mag-a-adjust na lang ay yung kumikita annually ng P250,000 and below dahil yun ang panibagong exempted sa income tax," he added.
(Only those earning P250,000 and below annually will adjust because they will be the new exemptions to the income tax.)
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said the plenary may start deliberations on Tuesday if the Ways and Means Committee will be able to collate all the amendments for submission to the Rules Committee.