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    Posted February 21, 2014 by

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    Tax exempt for PWDs in Phl gaining ground

    THE committee on ways and means of the Philippine House of Representatives has approved in principle House Bill 1039, which seeks to exempt persons with disability (PWD) from the value added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.
    Rep. Romero "Miro" Quimbo on Friday said the panel agreed to refer HB 1039 authored by Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez to a technical working group (TWG) to fine tune it and reconcile the minor disagreements on the implementation aspect.
    "Essentially there has been a consensus already to give it (VAT exemption). We will just have to refer to the TWG for purposes of fine tuning and reconciling the minor disagreements on the implementation as to how and who will define a PWD," Quimbo said.
    He said the committee still needs clarification from Department of Health (DOH) for assurance that any VAT exemption given to PWDs will not be abused.
    As to the revenue loss issue being raised by oppositors of the bill, he said such is miniscule relative to the social impact of the proposal.
    "The bigger picture here really is PWDs today, while nobody wants to admit it, a great majority of them are burdens. So they are economic burdens because they are not productive, they're not doing anything that adds to the economy because of the lack of opportunities as well as to the stigma," Quimbo said.
    He said what the bill aims to do is try to bring PWDs into the mainstream of society so that they become productive members.
    "What we seek to do is to convert a non performing asset, not just an asset but in fact a burden, to become even more productive. So today, they are a medical burden; they are burden to the family, etc., a great number of them anyway. But with these (VAT exemptions), these are just drops in the bucket towards their mainstreaming," Quimbo said.
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