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Reduce income tax, Philippine senator asks
"The general policy is that taxation must be uniform but it also must be progressive. It should be based on the taxpayers’ capacity to pay. Most Filipinos are poor. Thirty to 40 percent are living below the poverty line. We must do everything we can to help them and I think this is one way we can look at," said Angara, chair of the Senate committee on ways and means.
Angara's Senate Bill No. 2149 aims to reduce the country's individual income tax rate from the current 32 percent to 25 percent by 2017.
"Tax system should not only be a means to raise revenues for the State but it should also be a way or a method by which the State can promote its ends. I know the Aquino administration is big on inclusive growth especially in a country where there are vast income differences. We're on the same team here. I think with smaller tax rates, we can have greater voluntary compliance," he said.
Angara emphasized that his proposed measure is in preparation for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Integration, and is consistent with the Philippine commitment to the 10-member ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, which seeks to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base by December 2015.
Philippines has the highest individual income tax rate next to Thailand's 37 percent and Vietnam's 35 percent.