Press Release
May 11, 2023


Sen. Chiz Escudero on Wednesday warned the government anew against introducing new tax measures as they would burden a people who have yet to recover from the pandemic.

Escudero said the government should instead boost its fight against corruption, run after tax cheats, and cut unnecessary expenditures.

"Taxation should be the last resort, not the first option. You reduce unnecessary expenses to cancel the need for unreasonable taxes, "Escudero said.

And extracting more taxes from the people is the wrong way to revive an economy hit by a pandemic, he said.

"Paano sila babangon, kung hihilahin sila pababa ng bagong buwis? Choked by the pandemic, the last thing they deserve is to be choked by taxes this time, "he said.

Rising inflation also provides the "wrong timing" to hike taxes, he said. "Because it reduces purchasing power, may kasabihan ng na 'inflation is a form of taxation imposed without legislation.'"

"Adding high taxes to high prices of goods is like pouring gasoline on fire, "he said.

He described the last six years as a "very taxing season as a train, or a TRAIN, of revenues was passed."

Government, he said, "should not reward our people's tax obedience with more taxes or that would be a form of compliance punishment."

"If new tax proposals are being assembled, I would ask the President to please press the 'pause' button," he said.

Reports quote Department of Finance as saying the Marcos administration would push for new and higher taxes on sugary drinks, motor vehicles, among others.

The DOF estimates that three proposed taxes alone could generate P81.9 billion annually on its first year of implementation.

But more immediate is the BIR plan to impose a creditable withholding tax of 1% on one-half of the gross remittances of online platform providers to their partner-sellers or merchants.

Asked by a netizen on his stand on this and other tax proposals, Escudero, in a reply on his Twitter account, said , "I do not and will not support any bill that will impose new taxes. Instead of new taxes, the government should improve collection efficiency and curb corruption.

In previous interviews, the Bicolano senator has consistently maintained his stand against new taxes, offering instead alternatives government should first explore.

"In addition to what I have proposed, we can sell non-performing assets that cost money to maintain. We should have more public-private partnerships to fund infrastructure," he said

"We should also be careful in accepting loan proposals. We do not just take hook-line-sinker each and every ODA which comes our way, "he said.

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