by Jelly F. Musico. Philippine News Agency | Thursday, 16 June 2016
President Benigno Aquino III has vetoed two Congress-approved measures including the bill seeking to remove conditions for the condonation of all unpaid income taxes of Local Water Districts (LWDs), Palace announced on Thursday.
In his message, President Aquino said the enrolled consolidated House Bill No. 3675 and Senate Bill No. 2518 on the condonation unpaid taxes of LWDs will remove the laudable intent of Republic Act No. 10026 which is to grant tax reprieve only to LWDS which are financially incapable and committed to instituting fiscal reforms.
Moreover, the President said the bill “sends a message to errant taxpayers that delinquency is acceptable since amnesty or condonation may be given anyway, even without benefit of proper documentation.”
He added that the proposed bill is disadvantageous and can undermine the government’s strict tax collection efforts.
President Aquino also rejected the enrolled consolidated House Bill No. 6411 and Senate Bill No. 2720 which seeks the enactment of a comprehensive nursing law.
The bill provides a minimum base pay which shall not be lower than Salary Grade 15 or its equivalent for Filipino nurses in both government and private health institutions.
The President, however, explained that the minimum base pay for entry-level nurses has already been increased through Executive Order No. 201, series of 2016, which raised their total guaranteed annual compensation from Php228,924.00 to Php344,074.00, apart from other benefits and allowances they receive, such as under the Magna Carta of Public Health.
He also said the measure will undermine the existing government salary structure and cause wage distortion not only among medical and health care practitioners but also other professionals in the government service.
He explained that granting the said increase will place the salaries of nurses over and above their other similarly situated counterparts, such as optometrists and dentists.
Further, the President said the proposed increase “seemingly disregards the financial capacity of most local government hospitals” and also affects the financial viability of private hospitals and non-government health institutions, and may possibly lead to downsizing of hospital personnel and consequent increase in health care costs.
According to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., President Aquino has informed Congress through Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte about his decision to veto the two bills. (PNA)