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Diokno on wealth tax for billionaires: Will it pass Congress?

Incoming Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has no objection to a law that would impose additional taxes on the wealthiest individuals in the country, but stressed it needs to be passed first by Congress

In The Mangahas Interviews, Diokno said calls for the proposed wealth tax have lingered but failed to hurdle the approval of the members of Congress.

“Matagal na ang proposal na wealth tax. Ang kaso, any tax has to be approved by the Congress,” said Diokno, the current Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor.

“Do you spend all your efforts going through that? Ang policy ko kasi dyan, how much time and effort are you going to spend on a bill na sa tingin mo hindi naman makakapasa. You might as well focus on things na malaki ang…kasi may mga buwis na konti lang naman ang makokolekta mo pero you spend so much time. Dapat ‘yung big items  na lang tulad ng Value Added Tax, that’s really substantial and is also an efficient tax,” he said.

“Wala akong objection sa wealth tax kung makakapasa siya sa Kongreso,” he added.

Asked why he thinks it has failed to pass, the BSP chief said, “Naroon ang maraming mayaman at syempre, vested interest. Madali mo namang maimpluwensyahan ang some people. Why spend a lot of time? Konti lang ang oras sa isang admin eh, six years at konti lang ang administrasyon na nakakagawa ng tax reform.”

Think tank IBON Foundation previously said by imposing a three percent tax on the wealth of Filipino millionaires and billionaires, the incoming administration might be able to reduce the Philippines’ outstanding debt.

But in 2021, incumbent Finance chief Carlos Dominguez III shunned a similar recommendation, warning that it would scare away investors and encourage tax avoidance schemes.—LDF, GMA News