Press Release
December 17, 2015


Millions of salaried workers could expect a higher take-home pay by the last quarter of 2016 if Sen. Grace Poe wins the presidency next year.

This, according to her vice-presidential running mate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, would be the priority of Poe in her first 100 days in office through the reduction of income tax rates, consistent with their plan to install a "government with a heart."

Escudero, the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that while the government cannot promise a pay hike that would cover all workers in the public and private sectors, it may impose lower income taxes to boost their take-home pay and help them keep up with the rising cost of living.

"Alam kong mahirap pataasin ang sweldo pero hindi mo man magawa iyan; mapapalaki mo ang take-home pay ng ating mga kababayan kung bababaan lamang ang buwis," said Escudero, the leading vice-presidential candidate.

"Layunin namin ni Sen. Grace na babaan ang buwis at ipasa ang panukalang batas na 'yan sa unang isandaang araw ng kanyang termino para ipakita at patunayan na simula pa lang hanggang sa dulo na may puso ang pamahalaan na nais naming itayo at itatag," he added.

Poe and Escudero, both independent candidates, are running under the platform of genuine inclusive growth, full transparency and global competitiveness.

Escudero insisted that lowering the income tax, which at 32 percent is the highest in Southeast Asia, is the best way to ease the burden of salaried workers who pay the biggest chunk of the total income tax collected by the government.

Recently, the Senate and the House of Representatives each approved on final reading the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015, which mandates a P226-billion compensation hike spread over four years for the national government's 1.53 million civilian, military and uniformed personnel.

While he supported the new SSL, Escudero said the government must go beyond raising the salary of state workers by lowering income tax rates, a move that would also benefit the private sector that employs most of the country's workforce.

There are around 39 million people comprising the nation's labor force and about 36 million of them are in the private sector.

Escudero noted that in the last five years, private sector workers have received minimal pay hikes, the latest of which was in April this year when the National Wages and Productivity Commission implemented a P15 adjustment in the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila, raising the minimum pay to P481 for workers in the non-agriculture sector.

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