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MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Monday, December 1, adopted the Senate version of the bill seeking to increase the tax exemption limit for 13th month pay and other workers’ benefits to P82,000 ($1,819)* from the current P30,000 ($665).
The proposal will be implemented in 2015, House ways and means committee chairperson and Marikina City Representative Miro Quimbo told reporters. The House had wanted it to be implemented in 2014.
The bill only needs the signature of the President to become a law.
The House had initially proposed for a P70,000 tax exemption cap.
When the bill went through the Senate, Senator Ralph Recto moved to increase the ceiling to P82,000 to cover the inflation rate. In an earlier committee hearing, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said P30,000 in 1994 when the law was passed would be equivalent to P82,000 today.
The Senate version also includes a provision stating that the failure of the Secretary of Finance to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations shall not prevent the effectivity of the law.
The Department of Finance has projected a revenue loss of P30billion ($665.5 million) over the measure, but other resource persons at the committee hearings on the bill pegged it at only P3 billion. – Angela Casauay/Rappler.com
*US$1 = P45