Press Release
December 16, 2013


Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, will hold a public hearing tomorrow, Dec. 17, on bills that seek to increase tax exemption cap for 13th month pay and other benefits.

"We want to immediately address the issues raised by our government employees in relation to the taxation of their benefits. It's sad to hear that some of our workers receive very meager amount of benefits due them. Something has to be done," Angara said.

"However, while we understand the predicament of our workers, we also hear the concerns of the Internal Revenue in terms of the amount that the government stands to lose if the tax exemption ceiling were raised," the neophyte senator added.

Currently, the law provides that the 13th month pay and other benefits, such as productivity incentives and Christmas bonuses, not exceeding P30,000 given to both government and private sector employees are exempted from tax.

The proposed measure, on the other hand, intends to raise the ceiling of the tax exemption to P75,000.

The present ceiling was set by a law enacted almost 20 years ago where the lowest monthly basic salary for government employees was P2,800. Now, given the adjustments made in the basic salaries, the lowest monthly pay stands at P9,000.

The committee has invited representatives from the Department of Finance, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Economic and Development Authority, National Tax Research Center, Tax Management Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Trade Union Confederation of the Philippines, Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) to be resource persons in tomorrow's public hearing.

"We may not complete the legislative process for this proposed measure in time for this year's release of bonuses but may this serve as a glimmer of hope for our hardworking Filipinos that in the future Christmas seasons, they would enjoy more of their hard-earned money," Angara said.

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