Binay, Poe, and Santiago want tax reforms while Roxas remains a skeptic

The four presidential aspirants reveal their stance on lowering taxes.

( 2016 presidential aspirants Vice President Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, Sen. Grace Poe, and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago discussed some of their platforms in the presidential forum hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry on October 27. One of the main topics was tax reformation. Roxas is the only candidate who expressed apprehension in lowering taxes, while the other three are in favor.


Binay said he fully supports lowering personal and corporate tax. “We are the second highest sa income tax returns. Ang nangyayari diyan, you are depriving our kababayans the money they can consume. Kasi mataas ang income tax returns. Ang ating income tax returns [is] 32 percent na. Number 2 is it has come to a point, na yung those receiving P500,000 ay kaparehas na lamang ng binabayaran ng mga well-to-do, ng mga millionaires,” he said.


Santiago said that the Philippine tax system should be updated to reflect the country’s inflation. “The Philippine tax system is 20 years old. It needs to be overhauled. But major tax reforms are best done at the start of each administration when the President has the clear mandate from the voters. I promise to reform it within six months of my administration,” she said.


Poe also plans to reduce tax payments. “We’re one of the highest tax countries in Asia. Government has spent P600 billion since 2011 and reducing taxes would only take away P30 billion. I don’t think any programs in government would be cut because of this,” Poe said. “When they say ‘What programs will we cut?’ we don’t even have to cut programs. We just have to be more efficient in being able to roll out our projects so that more opportunities will be created,” she added.



As for Roxas, he said that the government is open to lowering taxes. However, he cited that making such a move differentiates the “serious people who are in the government” from “those with no responsibility.” He said that the situation must be assessed thoroughly as reforming the tax system will reduce the quality of services and infrastructure. “I’m not putting up this argument to say I’m not for it (lower income tax) but this requires a very sober discussion. Frankly, it shouldn’t be discussed in the heat of political elections,” said Roxas. “Kung papogihan lang ito, ‘wag na tayo mag-income tax, diba?” he added.

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