Press Release
October 1, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said no government projects should be cut nor any citizen of the country should be deprived of services in order to bring down income tax rates.

This was the response of Escudero to Mar Roxas, Liberal Party's presidential candidate, who told proponents for lower income taxes to identify programs that would have to be eliminated to justify the passage of tax reform measures.

"Kung gusto, maraming paraan; kung ayaw, maraming dahilan," said Escudero, who has been pushing for lower income taxes.

(If we want to, there are many ways; if we don't, there are many excuses.)

"Sinabi ko sa Club Filipino na kailangan natin ng gobyernong may puso para maghanap ng mga pamamaraan kung paano mapababa ang presyo ng kuryente, bilihin at buwis na ating binabayaran," he added.

(In Club Filipino I said we needed a government with a heart, one that would find ways to lower the prices of electricity, and goods, as well as lower the taxes we pay.)

"If he truly cares about the three to four million middle-income workers who stand to benefit from lowering income taxes, and empathizes with the struggles they face every day, then he should find a way to make it work," Escudero said. "It's a surprise that his stance on the issue is completely opposite to that of President Aquino, who has expressed willingness to hear the side of congressional leaders."

The Bicolano senator explained that reducing income taxes in the country, one of the highest rates in the world, was one of the platform proposals presented by Sen. Grace Poe when she declared her intention to run for president earlier last month, to give some relief to taxpayers.

Escudero, who had earlier urged Malacañang to certify as urgent measures to lower the income tax, added that the Palace's own allies in the Senate and the House of Representatives have carefully studied the bills now being discussed, and have proposed various means by which government can compensate for the estimated P30 billion in revenues the government expects to lose annually.

"We don't have to raise the VAT as earlier measures like the Sin Tax have already increased government revenue. Lowering the income tax broadens the tax base, increases the purchasing power of our people and it increases consumption, thereby spurring production and producing more jobs. We need to lower income taxes and we need to do it now," he said.

Escudero was the sponsor of a measure that exempts minimum wage earners in the private and public sectors from income tax, which later became Republic Act No. 9504. The law covers not only the basic pay, but also holiday pay, overtime pay, night shift differential and hazard pay received by minimum wage earners.

News Latest News Feed