06 November 2009
Describing the scheme as anti-poor and oppressive, a labor partylist group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), denounces the plan by Malacañang to impose taxes on tiangge as well as on political contributions for political parties, including partylists.
According to PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda, the plan to impose taxes ontiangge operations is a sinister way of shifting the burden of failed revenue collection to the poor. This was after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) admitted huge shortfall in its revenue target this year and which eventually led to the resignation of BIR Chief Sixto Esquivias IV.
“Instead of making convincing explanations on why the BIR missed its targets, Malacañang is now convincing the tiangge operators to make up for its shortfall. It’s like telling a Baclaran vendor to make up for the members of the PCCI and foreign chambers of commerce,” said Miranda.
“This is besides the fact that their buy-and-sell products have already been subjected to VAT and other taxes,” added Miranda.
Miranda said the scheme is patently anti-poor and oppressive since those who are engaged in tiangge, especially the small ones, belong to the informal sector (own account workers or the self-employed) – a big part of the of the labor force who are without regular work. Ninety nine percent of these workers are engaged in small buy-and-sell business, transport, and personal services, among others. Own account workers account for 12.083 million of the country’s labor force of 35.509 million in the July Labor Force Survey. Aside from that, most of those who render help for own account workers belong to what are called ‘unpaid family workers’, which now count to 3.828 million.
“Clearly, this sector needs support from the State not new forms of oppression through taxation especially in the face of ripping calamities,” stressed Miranda.
Meanwhile, the labor party is also opposed to the 5% tax on political contributions, saying the government should never consider counting revenue out of political exercise.
Miranda pointed out that while election-related businesses such as supplies can be considered taxable incomes, contributions to sectoral parties, like the PM Partylist whose contributions mainly came from ordinary workers, is not.
“A worker’s income have already been taxed before it reaches his hands, why tax it again if he/she contributes part of it for his/her political party?,” protested the group.
PM said Mrs. Arroyo better focus on ensuring good election process rather than generating funds from her rival parties.