Press Release
November 22, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today called on the Department of Finance not to be a Scrooge and heed minimum wage workers' pleas for a full-year income tax exemption, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9504.

"Dapat lang na ibigay na itong tax exemption. Kahit kakarampot ay maaaring magdagdag ng kaunti para sa darating na Pasko para sa kanila (This tax exemption must be given now. Even if it's a small amount, it would help in the expenses this coming Christmas)," he said.

The Cebu city council issued a resolution last month urging the DoF and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to retroactively implement the tax exemption for minimum wage earners, a copy of which was furnished to Roxas, who was commended for pushing the tax relief measure..

"In these hard times, we ought to do everything we can to be able to make life better and easier for our people," Roxas said in a reply addressed to Hilario Davide III, Acting Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Cebu.

"Kapag 'di naibigay ang full-year tax exemption, P5,000 din ang kinuha ng gobyerno sa mga minimum wage earners. Maliit pero kinuha pa rin ng gobyerno (If the tax exemption will not be given, the government's taking P5,000 away from the minimum wage earners. A small amount, but the government still took it)," he said.

Roxas has already filed with the Supreme Court a petition to compel the DoF and BIR to exempt minimum wage earners from taxes for income earned since January 1 of this year, and not only since July 6, which is when the law was made effective. He noted that the Supreme Court had previously ruled in Umali vs. Estanislao that an older tax exemption law, RA 7167, covered income taxes from the start of 1991, even though this became effective only on January 30, 1992.

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