MANILA, Philippines--An association of retired education officials and teachers has asked President Macapagal-Arroyo to sign into law a bill seeking to exempt the elderly from paying the 12-percent Expanded Value Added Tax (Evat).
The Kapisanan ng mga Gurong Retirado (Kaguro) based in Quezon City said the ?Expanded Senior Citizens Act? had been recommended for approval by the Senate and House bicameral conference committee last Jan. 27. The bill is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3581 and House Bill No. 6390.
Some four million senior citizens will benefit from the Evat exemption.
The 20-percent discount on certain goods and services, enjoyed by seniors today, is actually only 8 percent because of the Evat.
According to a Palace spokesman, the administration is reluctant to approve the measure because it would mean the loss of P54.4 million in revenues annually.
But many believe that the so-called losses can be easily offset by a vigorous tax collection campaign and by curbing graft and corruption which has permeated almost every echelon of the government bureaucracy.
The Kaguro claims that the 20-percent discount is still relatively small for retired teachers and employees who have spent the best and most productive years of their lives in public service.
It is high time the government took cognizance of the plight of senior citizens, as well as recognize their contributions to society, the association said.