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Roxas shifts gears, now backs lower income taxes

Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - After saying services could suffer if income taxes are lowered, administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II has shifted gears.

Roxas, who received flak for his opposition to the tax cut, said yesterday he is in favor of the proposal but is leaving the matter to President Aquino.

The Liberal Party standard bearer voiced his position during a roundtable discussion at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City with News5, Interaksyon.com, BusinessWorld, The Philippine STAR, Bloomberg Philippines and executives of the MVP group of companies.

Roxas said when he was still a senator, he had filed similar measures aimed at easing the burden of fixed-income or minimum wage earners. But he defended Aquino’s opposition to the proposal upon the advice of the Department of Finance (DOF).

“I’ve the track record to show that I support those initiatives, and we all agree that taxes belong to those who contributed to it,” Roxas said.

“But the President is still studying this in all seriousness. It’s very easy for the peanut gallery to tell us to do this and do that, but the President has a great responsibility on many other matters,” he said.

Last week, senior administration lawmakers urged Aquino to certify as urgent the bill seeking to reduce individual income taxes to ease the burden of fixed income earners.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said it was difficult to understand why Malacañang and the DOF were strongly against the measure.

“I can easily rebut the argument the government will lose P29 billion (from lowering income taxes). Every year, government agencies ask Congress for budget, and we learn that agencies accumulate unspent funds granted to them by Congress,” Batocabe said.

Slow action on FOI

Roxas also defended the Aquino administration from criticisms that it has failed to deliver on its promise to enact a Freedom of Information (FOI) law within its term.

Roxas said unresolved issues have stalled the passage of the measure, which aims to provide the public access to documents about government projects.

He said one such issue is the inclusion of the controversial “right of reply” provision in some versions of the FOI.

Under the provision, the space or air time allotted to the response of accused parties should be equal to that of the story about the allegation. Media groups are opposed to the provision, believing it will erode press freedom and editorial judgment.

“I know for example that there are members of the legislature who want a counterpart right to reply and other amendments that are not acceptable. These are part of the discussions at the floor or committee level,” Roxas said. – Danny Dangcalan

 

 

 

ACIRC AKO BICOL AQUINO BLOOMBERG PHILIPPINES BUT THE PRESIDENT DANNY DANGCALAN DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LIBERAL PARTY MANDALUYONG CITY ROXAS
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