MANILA (Mabuhay) — Wearing red bands and ribbons, members of the Senate employees’ union on Tuesday morning held a silent protest to oppose the Bureau of Internal Revenue order imposing tax on allowances, bonuses, and other benefits of government workers.
With arms raised, the Senate employees, members of Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (S.E.N.A.D.O.), lined themselves along the hallway in front of the room where the Senate ways and means committee will be holding a hearing on different tax measures.
In an interview with reporters, S.E.N.A.D.O. president Dakila Millamena said BIR Memorandum Order No. 23-2014 would be a burden to government employees as it will impose 30 percent to 32 percent tax on allowances, bonuses, compensations for services, and other fringe benefits given to government workers.
“Napakalaking kawalan. Isipin na lang na kung may benefit kang P10,000, magiging P7,000 na lang,” he said.
“Hindi na talaga makakasapat ‘yung sahod ng manggagawa sa pagtaas ng mga bilihin. Nakakalungkot pa ay babawasan pa kami ng napakalaking tax na 30 to 32 percent sa benefits,” he added.
Government workers, including Senate employees, asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the memorandum order. Millamena said they expect the High Tribunal to issue its decision later in the day.
“Maya-maya ay ine-expect namin na magkakaroon ng desisyon dahil may en banc session sa SC. Pupunta kami doon mamaya,” he said.
He said they also wanted the Senate committee to ensure that the tax measures and bills it approves will be for the benefit of the lowly workers.
“I-ensure na sana ‘yung pinag-uusapan nila ay hindi makakalimutan o mane-neglect ‘yung mga karapatan ng maliliit na manggagawa sa public sector man o sa private sector,” he said.
The protesters were also seen wearing red button pins with the message “Benepisyo, huwag bawasan. Sahod, dagdagan!” (MNS)