MANILA (June 19-Cagayan Journal) - Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today vowed to oppose all new taxes proposed by President Arroyo and her allies in Congress and even in the next administration as long as it makes government spending more efficient.
"I am not in favor of raising taxes for this government," Roxas said in a forum on the economy hosted by the Makati Business Club for potential presidential candidates at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu in Cebu City.
Roxas, a US-trained economist and former secretary of trade and industry in two administrations, said he would not trust the Arroyo Administration with new taxes even if it means arresting the further ballooning of government's budget deficit.
He said the new taxes would also impose more hardship on Filipinos at this time when the economy is contracting.
"This government has not shown that it can collect taxes efficiently and use such taxes collected properly," Roxas told the assembled business leaders when asked the question by former NEDA Secretary Philip Medalla.
He noted that with a mere 0.4% GDP growth, "there is just no more absorption growth for additional taxes" for our people.
Roxas said higher taxes or additional levies should only be considered if it can assure people, especially the poor, will accept paying more taxes.
"We can only raise taxes if the environment can afford it. There are lots of rooms in this government from which government revenues could be generated. The public should not suffer for this government's ineptness," Roxas said.
Instead of new taxes, Roxas said Congress and the Executive must raise income tax exemptions for minimum wage earners as government's contribution in uplifting their lives.
"A stand for the people is a stand for the nation. A stand for the people is a stand for everyone. And that is the kind of government you can expect from me: a government that stands for everyone," he added. (PR)