Tax the rich: Makabayan bloc seeks at least P236 billion from wealthy Filipinos

The Makabayan bloc filed on Monday, September 20, a bill seeking to slap additional taxes on the Philippines' richest individuals, as the government seeks revenue sources amid the coronavirus pandemic.

House Bill No. 10253 or the Super Rich Tax Act of 2021 proposes tax of 1% on individuals whose taxable assets are above P1 billion, 2% for P2 billion, and 3% for P3 billion and above.

The proposal is unique, as it aims to calculate the tax from an individual's assets instead of annual income.

"Philippine taxation for the longest time has been largely collected from what people pay for, what they consume, or from what they earn, and [has] never implemented a tax on large fortunes," states the bill.

Should the measure become law, revenues collected would be exclusively used for the following:

  • 60% - medical assistance and the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, with the Department of Health to determine the requirements
  • 40% - education, social protection, employment, and housing for the poor

"The billions in revenue from this tax would aid the government in pursuing its anti-poverty measures and other social programs that would help in closing the widening divide between the rich and poor," reads the bill's explanatory note.

According to the 2021 Forbes' Philippines Rich List, the collective wealth of the 50 richest Filipinos grew 30% to $79 billion (around P3.9 trillion) despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Makabayan lawmakers estimated that at least P236.7 billion would be collected annually just from the 50 richest Filipinos on the list.

Earlier in 2021, the Freedom from Debt Coalition proposed a wealth tax to get at least P112 billion from the 50 richest Filipinos yearly. ā€“ Marc Aguilar/Rappler.com

Marc Aguilar is a Rappler intern. He is a communication student from St. Paul University Quezon City.