UCA News

New Philippine tax law triggers protest campaign

Church, consumer groups accuse govt of tageting poor with increased duties on fuel and other items
New Philippine tax law triggers protest campaign

Philippine church and consumer activists launch a campaign in Manila for the repeal of the country's new tax law on Feb. 21. (Photo by Mark Saludes)


Published: February 26, 2018 05:35 AM GMT
Updated: February 26, 2018 05:38 AM GMT

Church and consumer rights groups in the Philippines have launched a campaign demanding the repeal of a new tax reform law they claim burdens the poor.

The campaign aims to gather a million signatures to force legislators to stop the implementation of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act that took effect in January.

Rev. Jerome Baris, national coordinator of the justice, peace, and human rights ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, said, taxation "should not target the poor."

"The painful effects of the tax reform law are now being experienced by many people," the Protestant pastor said.

The new tax law lowers personal income taxes for workers but imposes higher duties on fuels, cars and sweetened beverages.

The government says that the implementation of the new tax law will raise US$150 billion that will be spent infrastructure projects in the coming years.

Independent think-tank Ibon Foundation said slapping additional taxes on oil products makes the law "anti-poor" because it doubles taxes through excise duties on top of the value-added tax.

"It will inevitably affect 60 million Filipinos who live on very low incomes," it said in a statement.

Excise tax on oil products, such as diesel, is expected to increase to up to US $0.10 per liter from the US$0.05 per liter this year.

The government's National Economic and Development Authority said the tax reform law will boost consumer and manufacturing demand, but warned that its inflationary pressure could also impact on the cost of production.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia