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Government will lose up to P30 billion in revenues and only 6 percent of employees or 1.5 million workers will benefit as a result of the higher tax exemption for 13th month pay and bonuses, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said in an interview with GMA News on Tuesday.
In a report from GMA's “State of the Nation” newscast, Henares said she does not know if President Aquino will veto the tax bill, but she said the government will be hard pressed to make up for the P30 billion revenue loss and spending cuts on basic services when the tax exemption ceiling is raised to P82,000.
“Kaya matraffic, kasi mayroon pa taying mga kalsadang tayuin. Sabi niyo the crime rate is up. So diba basic needs na yan so dapat gastusan pa natin yan,” Henares said.
The BIR chief also disputed the purported economic gains from the higher tax exemption on bonuses.
“'Yung mga middle class kung may pera sila saan ba raw sila gumagastos? Diba first instinct go abroad? So kaninong ekonomiya and aadvance? Hindi naman tayo,” Henares said.
She said the public ought to change its perception of what taxes are for.
“We should not view our tax payment as a tribute to a ruler which we unfortunately have that thinking because we have been colonized. But if you think of it, tax payment is really our contribution to nation building,” Henares said.
But Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said that a lot of Filipino workers will benefit when the bill becomes law.
“More than a million people will benefit from this. Walang mas mabilis pang inclusive growth kungdi sa pagbabalik at pagbibigay ng mas mataas na take home pay sa ating mga ordinaryong kababayan,” Quimbo said.
He also said that when signed into a law by the president, the effects of the bill can be felt as early as middle of next year.
“'Yung mga binibigyan ng kalahati ng 13th month Christmas bonus ng June of 2015, makikita nila na hindi na ito binubuwisan,” Quimbo said. — Andrei Medina/ELR, GMA News