Press Release
July 27, 2016


Senator Sonny Angara was given anew the leadership of the ways and means committee where he vows to prioritize the passage of the income tax reform bill.

"I thank the Senate leadership and my colleagues for choosing me to head the ways and means committee. We personally requested for this committee so we can continue our work on overhauling our outdated and unjust tax system. We've been pushing for this reform since I was elected senator in 2013 and I'm now very confident that our bill will finally see the light of day," he said.

Angara welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's promise in his first state of the nation address that his administration will push for the lowering of income tax rates.

Duterte's 10-point economic agenda include instituting progressive tax reform and more effective collection, indexing taxes to inflation.

The administration's economic managers have also stated that a tax reform package will be submitted to Congress by September.

"We're looking forward to working hand in hand with the Department of Finance to come up with a comprehensive tax reform that will both benefit the Filipino people and the government. But definitely, the committee will start conducting hearings right away on bills that seek to update and adjust our tax brackets. We're hoping to pass the bill indexing taxes to inflation by the end of the year so our taxpayers can enjoy higher take-home pay beginning next year," he said.

Under Angara's Senate Bill 129, workers earning below P70,000 annual taxable income or approximately P14,000 monthly gross income will be exempted from paying taxes, dissolving the first three brackets under the present tax code.

Meanwhile, those earning P20,000 to P30,000 monthly will move to a lower bracket and will be taxed from the current 25 percent to 20 percent. The lower tax rates will result in higher take-home pay with savings from tax of more than P10,000 a year.

The top tax bracket, on the other hand, will be increased from an annual taxable income of P500,000 or approximately P60,000 monthly gross income to P1.25 million annual income or those earning more than P100,000 a month.

"In effect, we are easing the tax burden of our workers as most of them will be pulled back to their original tax brackets in 1997. Tinatama lang po natin ang sistema na magreresulta sa mas malaking take-home pay para sa ating mga manggagawa," he stressed.

SB 129 further provides for an automatic adjustment in the tax schedule every three years using the consumer price index so that inflation will no longer result in tax increases.

Angara has also filed SB 130 and SB 317 which seek to lower personal and corporate income tax rates, respectively, to 25 percent to make the Philippines more competitive as the country holds the highest income tax rates in the ASEAN region.

The senator further seeks the creation of a Taxpayer Assistance Service Office to ease the burden of Filipinos in paying taxes, and the Family Tax Relief bill that allows college tuition fees and home loans as deductions from the gross income of individuals.

Angara was also designated as vice chairperson of the education, labor, finance and blue ribbon committees.

A known advocate of educational reforms, Angara filed the One Family, One Graduate Act that aims to ensure that every Filipino family, especially those living in poverty, has at least one college graduate.

He also authored bills on students discount, teachers salary hike and the bill of rights for new graduates.

The former acting chairperson of the labor committee also filed anew the Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy and the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.

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