TUCP renews call for tax exemptions

Published by rudy Date posted on March 10, 2006

The country’s largest labor union called on Congress yesterday to grant additional tax exemptions to workers of private companies nationwide.

Alex Aguilar, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman, said if lawmakers were able to pass a law giving additional allowance to government employees they should also enact a bill to provide economic relief for low-income workers from the private sector.

“We are calling on Congress to prioritize the passage of a measure providing additional tax exemptions to minimum wage earners to enable them to cope with the imposition of R-VAT (Reformed Value-Added Tax),” he said.

Aguilar said the purchasing power of workers nationwide has eroded since the increase of the VAT rate by two percent beginning February.

“Workers from private companies have also been affected by the R-VAT so we are reiterating our call on President Arroyo to certify as urgent pending bills providing an additional tax exemption for workers,” he said.

Aguilar said the TUCP is pushing for the passage of a bill that would double the current P32,000 allowable deduction for working couples and would allow the husband and wife to file for personal exemptions separately.

“The current exemption being provided to married workers was approved in the 1990s and we think it needs to be reviewed at the soonest possible time,” he said.

Meanwhile, TUCP general secretary Ernesto Herrera urged Malacañang and Congress to uphold a Senate bill seeking to grant a P2,000 monthly allowance for government employees.

Herrera said the P2,000 allowance approved by the Senate could substantially address the demand of government workers for a P3,000 across-the-board increase compared to the P1,000 granted by Congress.

“The larger the increment, the better to help government workers recover purchasing power lost to soaring consumer prices,” he said, noting that public servants and other fixed-earners are being punished severely by the full implementation of the VAT. –Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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