BMP PRESS RELEASE
August 24, 2017
As the Senate conducts hearings on the controversial murder of 17-year old Kian delos Santos by elements of the Caloocan police and on the Tax Reform for Acceleration for Inclusion (TRAIN), members of the militant Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held a picket in front of the upper house today to condemn the “war on drugs” and proposed tax measures, which they both dubbed as “anti-poor”.
BMP president Leody de Guzman said, “No new taxes to a government that slaughters poor youths like Kian delos Santos! Workers demand justice for Kian as much as we demand tax justice. Tax the rich, not the poor”.
The labor group is calling on the Senate to reject House Bill 5636, which will “exempt the middle class and the rich from personal income taxes while raising excise taxes on products that are consumed by the poor majority and the general public”.
De Guzman clarified, “Minimum wage workers, who are at the seventh decile of family income distribution – according to DOF estimates, are already exempted from withholding taxes. The proposed increase on personal tax exemption to P250,000 a year would only benefit the middle class, professionals, chief executive officers and affluent celebrities”.
“The increase in estate and donor taxes would only benefit the propertied few. Its inclusion in HB 5636 means that our legislators in Congress are concerned more with the inheritance to be received by their heirs. While it is true that the impact of excise taxes for petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages, including the broadening of the VAT base, is across-the-board, its proportion to household income is higher for poorer sections of society,” he added.
“There are tax reforms and there are tax reforms. The proposed TRAIN would wreck the lives of the majority poor. We need to introduce reforms that would pass the tax burden to those who have more in life. The top ten richest Filipinos are not the BIR’s top ten taxpayers. Clearly, something is rotten in our taxation system. Higher consumption taxes should be placed on luxury goods. Higher tax rates should be placed on wealth and property”.
“War on the Poor”
“Workers are likewise enraged at a fascist government, which seeks new taxes on the poor, but is also waging a war against them in the so-called ‘gyera laban sa droga’. Almost all of the estimated 13,000 dead come from the poor. Due process is reserved to those who have economic power and political connections. The murder of Kian delos Santos should serve as a wake-up call to those who blindly support the bloody war against illegal drugs. No one would be spared, not even the innocents who, like Kian, have associated themselves with the so-called DDS. Stop the killings now,” he concluded. #