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Solons weigh in on bid to tax PHL’s ‘super rich’

Amid rising poverty incidence in the country, an assistant minority leader on Monday called on the government to impose a 1 percent to 3 percent wealth tax on the “super rich.”

Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene D. Brosas said the Marcos administration must focus on imposing wealth tax on billionaires instead of taxing digital transactions and proposing pro-big business legislations.

Brosas issued the statement after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday that around 19.99 million Filipinos were living below the poverty threshold of about P12,030 per month for a family of five in 2021.

About 2.32 million Filipinos were added to the population of poor individuals in the country in the last three years bringing the country’s poverty incidence higher at 18.1 percent from 17.67 percent in 2018.

“Imposing at least 3 percent tax on the wealth of Forbes’ 20 richest Filipinos will yield a whopping P98.2 billion. This is 8 times the projected revenues from the proposed VAT on digital goods and services, and enough to provide P10,000 cash subsidy to 9.8 million poor Filipino families,” Brosas said.

The Makabayan bloc has refiled House Bill 258, which seeks to impose “super rich tax” on individuals with net value assets exceeding P1 billion.

The bill proposed a tax on the super rich. A tax of 1 percent on wealth of above P1 billion, 2 percent on wealth of above P2 billion, and 3 percent over P3 billion.

The bloc said the proposal will raise P236.7 billion annually just from the 50 richest Filipinos alone.

“The government must veer away from its failed neoliberal dogma and start taking a progressive view of national development. We must uphold the people’s social and economic demands, otherwise, more and more Filipinos will carry the brunt of the government’s failed economic response,” said Brosas.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Joey Sarte Salceda of Albay has warned that “the moment you impose an outright wealth tax, it’s gone. And our business environment and jobs will suffer.”

“We can’t raise our taxes too high for capital because it’s so easy to move capital offshore,” he said.

“The best way to tax wealth is to tax the inefficient and dysfunctional use of land in this country,” he stressed.

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