Mr. President, at this juncture, we would like to thank and congratulate the Committee on Ways and Means chair, our seatmate, Senator Angara, who has done a truly amazing work in taking this nearly impossible task.
Hindi po talaga naging madali 'yung pinagdaanan ng ating committee upang marating ang puntong ito sa pagbalangkas ng isang tax reform bill.
For more than a year, the Chair had to painstakingly juggle the demands of interest groups trying to persuade the Senate body to put their own agenda above and against everyone else’s. But despite all this cacophony, the Chair remained focused on the task at hand, and stayed firm in looking at the bigger picture to deliver on his responsibility as the Chair of the committee. For that, we thank and congratulate him for what he has accomplished with this proposal thus far.
Mr. President, throughout this whole process, we are blessed to have worked with a Chair who willfully listens to the inputs from this representation on this landmark legislation. Among others, we thank the sponsor for initially accepting our proposals:
1) to raise the threshold to 250,000;
2) to adopt a 35% top marginal rate;
3) to rationalize the preferential rate for ROHQ employees;
4) to earmark sugar-sweetened beverage tax proceed to health and nutrition programs; iyon pong coal excise tax, iyon pong mining excise tax, etcetera.
Kaya naman po Ginoong Pangulo, ako po ay naniniwala na bagamat ito po ay mabigat na ipasa, ito po ang kailangan at nararapat para umunlad ang ating bayan.
Muli, maraming salamat, Ginoong Pangulo.