MANILA, Philippines -- Tax relief more than wage increases should be provided to workers, some lawmakers at the House of Representatives said in a forum Wednesday.
Valenzuela Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo, head of the labor and human resources committee, urged his colleagues to grant tax exemptions to wage earners because salary increases could result in the rise in prices of goods that would eventually affect the buying public.
Gunigundo said his short term plan of action would be to grant wage earners an increase of P36 in their basic pay aside from tax deductions to compensate for the soaring prices of goods.
?The tax deduction should be effected alongside the wage increase,? Gunigundo said, indicating that a wage increase alone will not help workers since their tax bracket would also go up.
The lawmaker also said that there was a pending proposal in the House committee on ways and means regarding wage rationalization that has to be evaluated immediately.
Congressman Matthias ?Matt? Defensor added that the losses that the government would incur as a result of the tax relief could be compensated by making tax collection more efficient.
?We all know tax collection has not yet been maximized to 100 percent,? Defensor said.
He explained that the country could also benefit from additional purchasing power granted to employees with the salary increases.
?Maybe they could afford to buy a new shirt or pair of shoes with the increase,? Gunigundo said. ?The losses could be gained from increased consumption.?