Ridon backs Speaker Alvarez’s opposition to proposed tax plan, cites impact to urban poor
Quezon City, Philippines, Oct. 5, 2016 – Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Chairperson Terry Ridon praised House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today for the latter’s opposition to the proposed tax plan of the Dept. of Finance, saying that the latter will hamper President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to improve the lives of millions of urban poor Filipinos.
Ridon cited the case of informal settlers previously residing alongside several waterways in Metro Manila and which were relocated in 18 resettlement sites in Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite.
According to a PCUP study, the average daily incomes for the sites’ residents ranged from a ‘high’ of P835.71 (P16,714.2 per month assuming 20 working days) to a low of P154.83 (P3,096.6). The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) pegged the daily poverty threshold for a family of five at P1,755.
“With relocatees and other members of the urban poor sector earning far below the minimum needed for their families’ basic needs, we are concerned about any measures that will ultimately lead to taking away food from their tables” said the PCUP chairperson.
“The PCUP welcomes Speaker Alvarez’s position as part of the Duterte administration’s commitment to the Filipino poor” he added.
The proposals include the removal of tax exemption on 13th month pay, exemptions from 12-percent value-added tax (VAT), and the introduction of new excise taxes on fuels. These, according to Ridon, will hamper President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to alleviate the burden of the urban poor.
The Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), under the Office of the President, is mandated to “serve as the direct link of the urban poor to the government in policy formulation and program implementation addressed to their needs”, as per Executive Order 82 series of 1986.
Atty. Terry Ridon
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor