MANILA - Returning Sen. Pia Cayetano has agreed to lead the Senate ways and means committee, a panel in charge of tackling tax-related measures, said Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“Sen. Pia Cayetano just made my life easier, she has agreed to be elected as Ways and Means Comm Chair,” Sotto said in a text message to reporters.
Cayetano also confirmed Friday that she has accepted the post, saying it will give her “the opportunity to explore more ways to improve the delivery of social services to the people, especially the most vulnerable.”
“I’m excited for the work ahead,” she added.
The Senate ways and means committee is in charge of "all matters relating to revenue generally; taxes and fees; tariffs; loans and other sources and forms of revenue," according to law.
Some senators have shied away from leading this panel because it passes tax measures which are unpopular to the public.
In 2007, Sen. Ralph Recto lost in his reelection bid after sponsoring the increase of value-added tax to 12 percent from 10 percent.
The ways and means panel is currently headed by Sen. Sonny Angara. He is set to relinquish this post as he was tapped to lead the finance committee in the upcoming 18th Congress.
Cayetano was reportedly eyeing the Senate education committee, which has already been reserved for Senators Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian, both reelectionists.
Sotto said even though Cayetano would not be given the education committee, he noted that “she is a veteran senator [who can] can catalyze her education visions through other committees and in plenary.”