Groups to BIR : Cut taxes on minimum wage
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2014 - 11:42am

MANILA, Philippines - Nagkaisa labor coalition on Monday  asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to approve its proposal to enhance the current fringe benefits and improve taxes on minimum wage received by employees.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the idea is part of the eight issues finalized April 9 between Nagkaisa and select members of the cabinet in a series of dialogues since 2012 for approval of President Benigno Aquino III.

He said the group believed these issues were the agenda in a cabinet meeting with the President Friday last week.

For his part, Philippine Airlines Employees Association president Gerry Rivera said Nagkaisa is pushing for Henares to impose tax only on the incremental amount of the negotiated minimum wage and not the entire amount itself.

"If union workers, for example, were able to successfully negotiate for a P10 wage increase on top of their minimum of P500 a day, we want only the added P10 to be taxed and not the entire P510. We desire it to be like this in reverence of and to preserve the sanctity of collective bargaining negotiations between the worker and his employer. It’s useless to negotiate for a higher wage if the entire amount is taxed,"  Rivera added.

He said the Nagkaisa is also campaigning for BIR to revise the current version of the de minimis fringe benefits enjoyed by unionized or regularized workers.

Not subject to any tax, the de minimis benefits are facilities or privileges given or offered by an employer to its employees but such are relatively small value but offered or given by employers as a means of promoting the workers’ health, company goodwill, contentment or efficiency of its employees.

The Nagkaisa proposals are the following:

- Revise the monetized unused vacation leave credits from the current 10 days to 15 days;

-Retain the monetized value of vacation and sick leave credits paid to government officials and employees;

-Medical cash allowance to dependents from P750 to P1,500 per employee per month;

-Rice subsidy from P1,500 to P2,500 or 1 sack of 50kg of rice per month;

-Uniform and clothing allowance from P4,000 to P6,000 per year;

-Actual medical assistance—e.g. medical allowance to cover medical and healthcare needs, annual medical executive check-up, maternity assistance and routine consultation from P10,000 to P15,000;

-Laundry allowance from P300 to P900;

-Employees achievement awards in the form of tangible personal property other than cash gift or gift certificate with annual value not exceeding P10,000 to P15,000;

-Gifts given during Christmas and major anniversary celebrations from P5,000 to P10,000 per year per employee; 

-Daily meal allowance for overtime work and night/graveyard shift from 25 percent to 34 percent of the basic minimum wage per region.

Aside from the TUCP and PALEA, some of the more than 40 other members of the Nagkaisa coalition is the Associated Labor Unions, Sentro, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Partido Manggagawa, Federation of Free Workers, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Philippine Government Employees Association, Association of Genuine Labor Organizations, Kilusan ng Maralitang Obrero, and Confederation of Independent Unions. 
 

ALAN TANJUSAY ALLIANCE OF PROGRESSIVE LABOR ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS ASSOCIATION OF GENUINE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE COMMISSIONER KIM HENARES CONFEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT UNIONS EMPLOYEES FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS GERRY RIVERA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO NAGKAISA
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