Senators study amendments on provisions of tax reform package

UNTV News   •   July 28, 2017   •   3854

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_072717_ANGARA

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Committee on Ways and Means chairman, Senator Sonny Angara said the impact of proposed excise tax on petroleum products on poor families is a concern to most of the senators.

“May concern kami na baka yung tama dun sa mga lower income sectors, baka hindi nila kayang i-absorb. Kasi kung tayu-tayo lang, kaya nating i-absorb yung sampung piso kada-araw na pagtaas ng presyo,” said Sen. Angara. (We are concerned that the lower income sectors might suffer. They may not be able to handle it. If it’s just us, we can manage a price increase of P10 per day.)

Senator Win Gatchalian also mulled over some possible adjustments on the tax rates and the period of its implementation to minimize the adverse effects of the tax reform.

“Kumbaga common agreement namin na kung magiging mataas yung magiging inflationary effect maghanap tayo ng ibang formula. For example… 3 years yung execution, baka pwedeng mas mahaba pa o pwedeng mas maliit muna in the first year,” Senate Committee on Economic Affairs chairperson Sen. Win Gatchalian said. ( it’s like a common agreement wherein if the inflationary effect will be high, let’s look for another formula.  For example… the execution is 3 years, maybe it can be lower or smaller in the first year.)

The proposed bill states that an additional 2 to 3 pesos will be imposed on the current taxes of petroleum products.

This means that a total of 6 pesos per liter will be added on diesel in year 2020.

The initial 3-peso increase will start within the next half of 2017.

Based on the study conducted by the Department of Finance, the P3.00 tax increase will result in a 40-centavo fare hike on public transport vehicles that use diesel.

House Committee on Ways and Means chairman, Congressman Dakila Cua, said they stand by the approved House version of the tax reform package wherein they see that the big increase on the prices of basic products is due to the activities of cartel members.

“Hindi po 1 to 1 ang relation ng pag-angat ng presyo ng krudo sa pag-angat ng presyo ng bilihin. Ang isa pa ngang mas nakapapangambang rason ng pagi-increase ay mga cartel ng industriya,” Congressman Dakila Cua said. ( The increase in prices of oil and basic goods is not a 1 to 1 relation. Another more alarming reason for the increase is  the cartels in the industry.)

The Senate committee targets to approve the tax reform package by September. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

Senate committee approves bill giving Duterte authority to defer SSS hike

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises on Tuesday (January 26) approved a Senate bill that will grant President Rodrigo Duterte the authority to defer or suspend the Social Security System (SSS) contribution rate hike.

Under Senate Bill 1970, the Chief Executive can suspend the implementation of the SSS contribution hike during a national emergency or state of calamity for six months.

While the SSS administration acknowledges the bill, it reiterated the need to implement the contribution hike this year.

SSS President and CEO Andrea Ignacio said delaying the implementation might have a negative effect on the government’s financial situation.

“Delaying this implementation of any reform will worsen an already dire financial institution. The new contribution schedule in the SSS Charter is a long overdue reform. SSS has increased its pension benefit 25 times while it adjusted contribution rate only 8 times to date,” he said.

He added that SSS would not have enough budget to pay their pensioners for the next 30 to 40 years. However, Ignacio said they will not force unemployed individuals to pay.

“We acknowledge that the contribution hike will add a little burden to our employers and workers but, at the same time, the fact is we are asking for this hike only to those who are able to do so. The employers who are operating and the workers that still have their jobs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva and committee chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said the contribution hike will further burden the citizens, especially during the pandemic.

Iyong may trabaho at may negosyo, sa halip na hindi na natin sila i-burden out, bibigyan pa natin sila ng additional burden na isipin (Those with jobs and business, instead of easing their burden, we are giving them an additional burden they have to think about), Villanueva said.

Lalala ang situation, baka ang mangyari masyadong hirap na. Talagang dapat tingnan natin kung anong gagawin natin to alleviate their pain (The situation might worsen. We should look for ways on how to alleviate their pain),” said Gordon.

Under Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 the contribution hike for this year will increase by 13% and 15% by 2025. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Senate Committees approve proposal to increase statutory rape age to 16

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 1, 2020

The Senate Committees have approved the proposal to increase the statutory rape age to 16.

The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality approved the proposed measure on Thursday (October 10). Aside from the increase in the statutory rape age, the age for sexual consent was also raised from 12 to 16.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, one of the authors of the bill, said it is time to amend the law especially due to the increase of sexual violence cases among children.

“As legislators, we need to ensure that our children are protected and that we set measures that will mitigate if not totally eradicate these alarming cases and statistics on sexual violence against children and teenage pregnancies,” Zubiri said.

The Philippines currently has the age of sexual consent at 12 which is the lowest in Asia and among the lowest in the world. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Senator Angara says he’s back home after recovering from COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Monday said he has recovered from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and is now back home after staying in a hospital for several days.

In a post on social media, Angara said he has been discharged after testing negative for the virus and recovering from pneumonia.

“After several days in the ER and the COVID wing my doctors finally sent me home today– negative for the virus and pneumonia free,” his post read.

He expressed gratitude to the medical workers who attended to his needs, as well as his family and friends for all the prayers and assistance they sent.

“[I] am truly grateful for the gift of life and even more so now for those at the front lines who safeguard our lives and protect our society,” he said.

He also shared that during his stay in the hospital, he met nurses and doctors who don’t go home anymore and are even doing double shifts in other hospitals.

“They truly, truly are REAL HEROES. I will be at home with my son when he celebrates his bday this weekend but many of our health workers will not make it home as a measure of protection for their families,” he said.

Angara announced on March 26 that he contracted coronavirus, but he already subjected himself under home quarantine days before he was informed of his test results after a resource person who visited the Senate premises later tested positive for the virus.

He is the third senator to get infected with coronavirus after Koko Pimentel and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

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