Drilon: Senate to raise tax exemption limit on Christmas perks, other bonuses before yearend

A bill that will increase the take-home pay of public and private employees is among the measures that will be passed before the year ends, said Senate President Franklin M. Drilon.

“In the meeting we had with the House leadership, we have resolved that the tax exemption limit on 13th month pay and other benefits should have the Congress’ approval before the year ends. This bill has already the lawmakers’ thumbs up, so it’s possible that we can pass it this year,” said Drilon.

Drilon said the Senate Committee on Ways and Means is already finished with its committee report and it will be brought to plenary debates this week.

“Once it is laid on the floor, we will immediately calendar it for debates. I am sure we can come up with the solutions on how to address the concerns regarding its effects on our national coffers,” said Drilon.

“What we are more concerned about is how we can help our millions of workers who are struggling from day to day to cope with the effects of inflation. The exemplary actions of our workers, for instance, our teachers, cops and soldiers deserve more support from the government,” stressed Drilon.

The Senate intends to raise the exclusion limit on an individual’s 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, and other work benefits from income taxation from the current imposed limit of P30,000 to P75,000.

A house version of the proposed measure had already been transmitted to the Senate last September.

Meanwhile, Drilon said he expects floor deliberations on the 2015 national budget to start by November 18. He said the chamber remains on-track on the budget and is committed to approve it before yearend.

The Senate leader also enumerated a number of measures, mostly economic measures, that will receive urgent legislative action which include the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Fair Competition Act, Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives Law, Customs and Tariff Modernization Act, Rationalization of Mining Revenues Act, the amendments to the charter of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Built-Operate-Transfer law, and the establishment of an information and communications technology department.#