1 December 2011
Group says No to BIR tax imposition on OFWs voluntary contributions to SSS, Pag-Ibig
A progressive Filipino migrants’ rights group today say it is oppose on the plan of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to impose taxes on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) contribution to the Social Security System (SSS) and to the Home Development Mutual Fund popularly known as PAG-IBIG.
On Wednesday, the BIR confirmed that it has issued a circular to study the imposition of tax to SSS and PAG-IBIG members who have contributed more than the amount allowed by law as it is considered as an investment, thereby should be taxed. The BIR though clarified that the proposal is still under study.
Reacting on the BIR proposal, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said the OFWs contributions to the SSS and PAG-IBIG should not be considered and be classified as ‘investment to accumulate millions of profits’.
“Some of us, OFWs, opted to voluntarily contribute and avail the programs of the SSS and PAG-IBIG not for investment to gain millions of profits. It is just an investment enough to secure our needs when we retire and have our own house we could proudly say a product of our hard works abroad,” Monterona said.
Monterona added imposing taxes on OFWs voluntary contribution to SSS and PAG-IBIG defeat the very intent, purpose and spirit of the programs which is social security and housing loan if the government through the BIR will push through its plan of imposing taxes on OFWs contributions.
“We know that it is the BIR’s duty to raise and collect taxes but the government must be reasonable and fair and must consider the present socio-economic plight of our people. The government must stop treating our OFWs as milking cows, while there are no or lack of govt. programs and welfare services for them,” Monterona added.
Monterona said if the BIR pushes through imposing tax on OFW voluntary contribution to SSS and PAG-IBIG, ‘many OFWs will stop their contributions.”
Monterona noted that OFWs membership to SSS is voluntary, while membership to PAG-IBIG is now mandatory when a law took effect amending the old law.
There are about 40,000 OFWs who are voluntary members of SSS. “If the govt. plan to impose tax on OFWs ‘investment’ to SSS is implemented, then the numbers will go down as expected,” Monterona added.
“Maghunos-dili naman sana ang gobyernong Aquino sa walang habas na pagpapataw ng buwis sa taong-bayan particular sa mangagawa, local or migrante, na pati ang kanilang kaunting impok sa SSS at PAG-IBIG ay bubuwisan na,” Monterona added.
Migrante-ME calls on Pres. Aquino and its economic managers to stop its plan to impose tax on OFWs contributions to SSS and PAG-IBIG.
“OFWs and their families will take up arms so to speak against its plan to impose tax on our SSS and PAG-IBIG contributions which is only an additional burden,” Monterona concluded. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator