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Tax on SSS, Pag-IBIG contributions, injustice to OFWs—group

ANTIPOLO City, Dec. 2, 2011—It would be an injustice for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) if the Bureau of Internal Revenue will continue its plan of imposing taxes to their Social Security System (SSS) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG).

In a statement sent to media, John Leonard C. Monterona of Migrante-Middle East (ME) said most of the OFWs are paying more than the mandatory contribution to ensure that they would have enough money to loan to own a house (in case of Pag-IBIG) and for bigger monthly pension in case they can’t go back to work abroad as a contract worker.

“Some of us, OFWs, opted to voluntarily contribute and avail the programs of the SSS and Pag-IBIG, not 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 explained.

He said that while the reason of the BIR sounds “good”, it is quite bad that it would target the contribution of OFWs to these State-controlled surety and mortgage corporations.

“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 economic status of the people. The government must stop treating our OFWs as milking cows, while there are no or lack of government programs and welfare services for them,” added Monterona.

Monterona also forewarns the Government that if Commissioner Kim Henares’ proposal will have a green signal, many OFWs would stop contributing to SSS and Pag-IBIG, a move that would have a negative result to the said government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs). [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPnews]