Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – Present mechanisms such as the salary standardization and TRAIN Law, which add to the take-home pay of teachers, are already sufficient according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
This is despite earlier pronouncements of Malacañang about doubling the income of teachers in the Philippines.
Diokno said, at present, the P19,000 entry-level salary is enough for an entry-level instructor in a public school.
This is comparatively higher than the P13,000 wage of teachers in private schools.
“We let that the Salary Standardization Law run its course plus the combination of the TRAIN which, as I said, was unanticipated even at the time the Salary Standardization Law was designed. And then we evaluate where we are by January next year for possible budget proposal in 2020,” Diokno said.
Under the Salary Standardization Law approved by President Aquino in 2015, an increase in the income of teachers is expected until 2019.
While under TRAIN Law, there is an additional take-home pay of up to P3,000 for teachers due to tax exemptions.
Corazon Miguel, a public school instructor for 21 years was dismayed over the agency’s statement.
“There are teachers who go abroad. Why do they want to teach in other countries? Because the salary is enticing,” Miguel said.
In a statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said school teachers should get the biggest chunk of the national budget.
This should also be a priority as it is in the Constitution.
Despite this, ACT Teachers Partylist hopes that DBM will still give way to the clamor for additional income.
“Despite Sec. Diokno’s pronouncements that the salary increase of teachers is not a priority, our president is not named ‘Diokno’. So we expect him to comply and we await a concrete proposal,” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue
New excise tax on petroleum products effective January 1
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the rollback on petroleum products, there will be a new excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
As stated in the law, there will be a P2.24 per liter price hike on gasoline and diesel; P1.12 per liter increase on kerosone; and P1.12 per kilo on LPG.
However, the Department of Energy has reminded all oil companies that they need to consume their petroleum stocks in 2018 before the implementation of the excise tax.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been monitoring the oil stocks of oil companies since September to ensure that these will not be set with the excise tax in 2019.
Oil companies need to declare in a signage if they are already implementing the excise tax.
“Inuubos muna nila ang mga old inventories bago mag impose ng new excise tax. Ibig sabihin kapag meron ng new excise tax dapat yung mga gasoline stations din may naka-post silang tarpaulin na nagsasabi na ang binebenta nilang petroleum products as of the moment ay may new excise tax na,” said Oil Industry Bureau Assistant Director Rodela Romero.
The second tranche of excise tax was approved during the price drop of petroleum products in world market.
In 2018, there are more price increase compared to price rollback in diesel and gasoline.
A consumer group believes that poor Filipinos will not be able to bear the new tranche of excise tax on petroleum products in 2019.
For those who can pay the excise tax such as businessmen, the excise tax can be regain through the price hike of prime commodities which will further burden poor Filipinos.
“Ang aming pagtutol dito hindi ito equitable at ito’y hindi progressive taxation sa madaling salita anti-poor po,” said Laban Konsyumer Group President Vic Dimagiba.
The consumer group appeals to the the new Congress to check TRAIN Law after elections.
“Mayroong eleksyon, may bagong Kongreso. Magandang balikan ng bagong kongreso itong TRAIN law. Itong bago ‘di natin alam, puwede nilang repasuin ang TRAIN law para hindi ito anti-poor,” said Dimagiba. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue
Duterte to public on being taxed: ‘Your money is safe under my term’
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the awarding ceremony for the 2017 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC), at the Malacañan Palace on December 5, 2018. Also in the photo are Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (December 5) appeased public concerns on the impact of the administration’s tax reforms.
“Do not be so sad about being taxed,” he said in a speech during the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) in Malacañang.
“Your money here during my term is safe. I will not allow corruption. I have fired so many Cabinet members for just an infraction,” the President said.
On Tuesday (December 4), the President approved the proposal for the government to proceed with the second tranche of oil tax hikes in 2019.
This, despite calls to suspend its implementation in view of a possible rise in inflation next year.
Economic managers of the Duterte Administration projected in October that the price of Dubai crude oil would hit the threshold of $80 per barrel.
However, its price dropped in November prompted a series of roll backs in local oil prices and the decision to suspend the implementation of next year’s oil tax hike.
Now that it is given the green light, the second tranche of additional excise tax on oil under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, will add P2.24/liter for gasoline and diesel.
This is broken down to P2.00 excise tax plus P0.24 value added tax (VAT).
The additional levy on oil products will take effect on January 1, 2019.
The (TRAIN) Law has been criticized for causing a shoot up in inflation which in October hit a nine-year high of 6.7%.
Inflation eased to 6% in November which the government took credit for as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said: “We attribute this to the President’s empathy to public clamor and his decisive action in response thereto, which includes the issuance of Administrative Order No. 13 to streamline procedures on the importation of agricultural products, including rice, as well as Memorandum Order (MO) Nos. 26, 27, and 28 to stabilize the prices of agriculture and fishery products at reasonable levels and maintain their sufficient supply in our markets.” – Marje Pelayo
DBM confident on passage of 2019 nat’l budget before end of the year
FILE PHOTO: Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is confident that before the end of the year, Congress will be able to pass the P3.757-T proposed national budget for next year.
This, despite delays in the passage of the proposed budget of the House of Representatives that’s why the Senate wasn’t able to approve the overall budget for 2019.
The Senate earlier said it might finish its deliberation on the measure by February 2019.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno argued, however, that the lawmakers must prioritize the passage of the proposed national budget by the end of 2018 instead of dilly-dallying or planning for their respective year-end vacations because the session is only until December 12.
“We in the Executive Department have done our job. The President has done his job. He submitted the proposed 2019 budget ahead of schedule. The Constitution says within 30 days after the SONA; he submitted it on the day of the SONA so the approval of the 2019 General Appropriations Act is now in Congress’ court,” Diokno said.
Secretary Diokno also emphasized that it shouldn’t be a practice to have a reenacted budget because such would have a negative implication to the country’s economy.
He noted that a reenacted budget would primarily affect the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
“It’s a big contributor to growth. Can you imagine if there is no construction? That will kind of slow down growth and it will also slow down employment. No construction means no job;no jobs means more poverty,” he added.
Diokno said he already explained such probabilities in his correspondence addressed to Executive Secretary Salvador Meldialdea, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez III.
He explained that with limited budget, small scale projects are the very first to suffer.
Diokno noted, however, that a reenacted budget will not affect the funding for personal services sector such as employee salary, pension, retirement benefits and the likes.
The Budget Secretary is confident that there will be no reenacted budget under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte unlike during the term of former president now House Speaker Gloria Arroyo wherein the government had thrice a reenacted budget. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)