Senator Roxas pushes for tax rebates for workers

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | posted in , , , | 0 comments

With the outlook for the economic crisis remaining dim, Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today pushed for tax rebates as a stimulus package to help workers cope with the global financial meltdown's effect on the local economy.
"Masama po ang ekonomiya. Ang aking forecast, ngayon talaga mararamdaman yung epekto sa ibang bansa. Hindi natin made-deny na yung ekonomiya natin at maraming trabaho ay konektado sa pangyayari sa ibang bansa. At kung sadsad sila, aba'y apektado tayo. (The economy is in bad shape. My forecast is that other countries will continue to be affected by the global financial crisis this year. We cannot deny that the local economy and many of our job opportunities are linked to what's happening in the world. And if they are in a slump, then we would be, too)," he said.
Roxas, chairman of the Senate trade and commerce committee, said there were several ways the government can implement a rebate, such as reducing the value-added tax (VAT) from the present 12% to 10%, for the next two years. Another way, which Roxas has proposed in Senate Bill No. 2689, would provide a one-time P5,000 tax rebate for the country's 2 million fixed-income earners.
"Para sa akin, magandang stimulus package ay tax rebate. Ibig sabihin, ang buwis, ibabalik sa tao, at tayo na mismo ang gagastos ng ating pera. Imbes na gobyerno ang gagastos, na alam natin ay may napakaraming leakage. (For me, tax rebates is a good stimulus package. We will give back to the people what they paid to the government and they would decide how to spend their money. This, instead of letting the government spend the money, which we all know is prone to much leakage)," he also said.

"Mas mabuti na ibalik ang pera sa taumbayan (It's better to give back to the people their hard-earned money at this time of hardship)," he said.
He said savings from the VAT discount and the P5,000 refund would augment workers' incomes, which they themselves will use for their own priorities, such as paying tuition fees for their children, housing loan payments, medicines and other healthcare purchases, among others.
"Iikot ito sa ating ekonomiya kasi gagamitin ito sa pinaka-basic na bilihin. Hindi ito gagamitin sa iba pang mga bagay na hindi naman nila priority. (This will go back to the local economy because the money will be used for basic needs. It will not be used for non-essential things)," he added.
Roxas explained that the proposed tax rebates would have little impact on government's fiscal deficit. Furthermore, he said that the government has not seriously shown it is a worthy custodian of the people's money, having been involved in numerous cases of corruption and misuse of funds.
"Para sa akin, mas mabuti na imbes na mapupunta ito sa pangungurakot - nakita na natin sa pagbibiyahe ng mga heneral, sa pagbili nitong overpriced at maling fertilizer - mas mabuti na ang nagbabayad ng buwis ay mabigyan ng relief o tulong sa pamamagitan ng pagbalik ng kanilang buwis. (Instead of government spending the money for the foreign travel of generals or the acquisition of overpriced and low-quality fertilizers, the money will be better spent if it is given back to the people)," he stressed.
He urged the government anew to focus on addressing the financial tsunami that is threatening to hit the country.
"Kalimutan na muna itong mga Cha-Cha, kalimutan na muna itong mga pampulitika, pampahaba ng termino, dahilan sa, yung trabaho ay hindi makapag-antay. Nawawalan ng trabaho ang ating mga kababayan, at iyan ang dahilan kung bakit dapat mag-focus tayo sa ekonomiya at hindi sa pulitika. (Forget about Cha-Cha, forget about lifting term limits. People need jobs now. We need to focus on the economy, not politics)," he said.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

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