Marcos seeks tax amendments for poverty reduction drive
MANILA, Philippines—Neophyte Senator Imee Marcos wants the country’s tax laws amended to make them “truly responsive” to the challenge of poverty reduction.
In a statement, Marcos said she intends to expand the list of goods and services that should be exempt from value-added tax (VAT), earmark VAT proceeds to assure food security for the poor, and correct the amount of actual funding for local government units (LGUs).
Among the amendments Marcos is pushing is the VAT exemption of all medicines and the appropriating of VAT proceeds for food vouchers and welfare programs.
“Other items earmarked for funding from VAT proceeds are public schools, indigent insurance, environmental conservation, and agricultural modernization,” she said.
Marcos also sought to exempt the services of both state and private-run schools from VAT, noting that the expense of running schools, which was passed on to students, can be reduced if all suppliers and service providers of educational institutions would also be exempted from VAT charges.
The VAT exemptions intend to reduce the cost of education for low-income families and to give them “a real chance to escape the spiral of hand-to-mouth existence,” Marcos explained.
Importation, printing, and publication of books are also in the list of VAT-exempt goods, as well as school paper products consumed by students and teachers during the school year.
The senator, likewise, called for a congressional inquiry into the national poverty situation by reviewing poverty data and assessing existing poverty programs, which was included in her’ first 10 Senate bills or resolutions. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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