Friday, February 5, 2016

Press Release from the Office of Cong. Roman T. Romulo: Raising SSS pensions, cutting income taxes are all about bridging "income inequality": Romulo

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo today said raising the SSS pension of senior citizens and cutting income tax rates are all about bridging the wide gap between the rich and poor in the country.

"The administration's mantra of inclusive growth is ultimately aimed at reducing the scandalously high levels of poverty prevailing in the Philippines," he said.

"Raising pensions and cutting income taxes are immediate ways by which government can intervene to ease the pain of poverty experienced daily by many of our people. This is why people are angry and disappointed
at the way things have turned out," he said.

According to the latest figures of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 25.2 percent or about 25 million of the country's population live below the poverty line.

The ADB also pointed out that while the economy's expansion "exceeded 6 percent in the last two years, it has not generated enough jobs to reduce poverty."

"Reducing poverty is admittedly a difficult task for any administration. What is required is for us to do our homework to be able to provide benefits to the majority that will not compromise the country's overall economic health," Romulo said.

"That is what good governance is all about. That is what inclusive growth is all about. It's all about finding ways to alleviate income inequality while we work hard to reduce poverty. Our people will now have to look at the next administration and the next Congress to do things right," he said.

With Congress closing sessions this week, the possibility of overriding the President's veto of the SSS pension hike for senior citizens is close to zero. The FOI bill as well as the proposal to cut income tax rates have also been set aside.

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