Palace open to proposed reduction in income tax rate

President Benigno S. Aquino III is received by PMS Head Julia Andrea Abad upon arrival for the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) 45th Anniversary at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Thursday (August 20, 2015). With theme: “Sustaining the Tradition of Excellence in Public Service.” also in photo are DND Sec. Voltairte Gazmin and PCOO Sec. Herminio Sonny Coloma. (Photo by Benhur Arcayan/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno Aquino is with Presidential Management staff head Julia Andrea Abad, DND Sec. Voltairte Gazmin and PCOO Sec. Herminio Sonny Coloma. (Photo by Benhur Arcayan/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Malacañang on Wednesday, August 26, said it is open to proposals to reduce the country’s personal income tax rate, said to be the highest in Southeast Asia.

“Government is open to consider proposals on changing the income tax rates and continues to work with Congress on this matter. The Department of Finance (DOF) is advocating a comprehensive review of the existing taxation system, so that needed reforms may be instituted,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told reporters during the daily press briefing.

“It is also important to identify new and additional sources of tax revenues that will offset any reduction in collection of income taxes,” Coloma added.

He noted that the finance department will make an extensive review of the existing tax policy.

“According to (Finance) Secretary (Cesar) Purisima, and I quote, ‘The DOF prefers a holistic review of the tax structure so as not to put our fiscal gains and fiscal health at risk,’” said Coloma.

Senator Francis Escudero earlier made an appeal to the President to certify as urgent a bill lowering individual income tax, saying this is his opportunity to bring down one of the highest income tax in the region.

According to reports, the Philippines’ personal income tax rate stands at 32 percent, compared to Thailand’s 10 percent, Singapore’s 2 percent, Vietnam’s 20 percent, Malaysia’s 11 percent, Cambodia’s 20 percent, and Laos’ 12 percent.

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