Senator Chiz Escudero has warned the government against introducing new tax measures as they would burden the public which have yet to recover from the pandemic.
He said the government should instead boost its fight against corruption, go after tax cheats, and cut unnecessary expenditures.
“Taxation should be the last resort, not the first option. You reduce unnecessary expenses to cancel the need for unreasonable taxes,“ Escudero said, adding that extracting more taxes from the people is the wrong way to revive an economy hit by a pandemic.
“How will they recover if you will pull them down with the new taxes?” Escudero said. Choked by the pandemic, he noted that the last thing the public deserves is to be choked by taxes this time.
He said rising inflation also provides the “wrong timing” to hike taxes. “Because it reduces purchasing power,” the senator said, adding that “inflation is a form of taxation imposed without legislation.’”
“Adding high taxes to high prices of goods is like pouring gasoline on fire,“ he further stated.
Government, he said, “should not reward our people’s tax obedience with more taxes or that would be a form of compliance punishment.”
Reports said the Department of Finance (DOF) will be pushing for new and higher taxes on sugary drinks, and motor vehicles, among others.
The DOF said that three proposed taxes alone could generate P81.9 billion annually on the first year of implementation.
The Bureuue of Internal Revenue also plans to impose a creditable withholding tax of 1% on one-half of the gross remittances of online platform providers to their partner-sellers or merchants.
Sen. Raffy Tulfo meanwhile is proposing a one-strike policy for abusive employers who are not complying with the country’s minimum wage law and are not giving the benefits due to their workers.
During a hearing by the Senate Committee on Labor Wednesday, Tulfo said employers should immediately be penalized and obliged to pay when a worker presented strong evidence against them.
Tulfo, Vice Chairperson of the Labor Committee, lamented that the country’s current labor law appears to be toothless because non-compliant employers are not afraid of it due to lack of implementation.
Apart from the penalty such as a higher fine, for example, Tulfo said employers facing complaints should immediately pay the employees without complaining.
Under the current policy which Tulfo criticizes, when an employee reports his erring employer to DOLE, the worker still needs to go through a tedious and long process despite presenting strong evidence that his complaint is legitimate.
He said DOLE would start by issuing letter to the employer asking for explanation.
If said employer fails to respond, it would still be given another chance to reply.
Tulfo said this process is being exploited by abusive employers because for them, it is a way to delay the worker’s chance of getting justice.
Hen added another policy that is favorable to abusive employers is the rule stating that the complaint of workers should still need to undergo mediation, which could reach up to three hearings.
“And if they cannot reach into agreement during mediation, DOLE will then forward the complaint to National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which will only exhaust the money of workers because said worker needs to go back and forth to NLRC,” he said.
Worst case scenario, tulip said I’d that the case could last up to decades before getting resolved,
That’s why in the new system proposed by Tulfo, he wants this lengthy anti-poor process to be removed. According to him, the Rules of Procedure in DOLE will be revised in such a way that employees must immediately pay workers who managed to present overwhelming evidence that he was abused.