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Duterte: Don’t be so sad about being taxed

TAXPAYERS settle their income taxes in a Bureau of Internal Revenue office in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores)

TAXPAYERS settle their income taxes in a Bureau of Internal Revenue office in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores)

President Duterte has urged Filipinos “not to be so sad” when paying taxes to government, promising to keep public funds safe from corruption under his watch.

The President said he was “very strict” about the use of public funds, citing the dismissal of several government officials for alleged corruption in recent months.

“Do not be so sad about being taxed because your money here during my term is safe. I will not allow corruption,” Duterte said during the awarding of outstanding overseas Filipino individuals and organizations in Malacañang.

“I have fired so many Cabinet members for just an infraction. I am so very, very strict,” he added.

The President made the assurance after he approved the second tranche of the fuel excise increase in January 2019 amid the drop in world oil prices.

The additional P2 tax on oil products are authorized under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law, which has been previously blamed for the spike in consumer prices. The law, however, allows the government to suspend the tax hike if world oil prices average $80 per barrel in three months prior to the next scheduled levy increase.

The President has renewed his resolve to fulfill his campaign promise to curb corruption in government. “I will try to minimize, since you cannot totally eradicate it but that’s a reality of life here in our country, I will try to cut down on graft and corruption,” he said.

He claimed that he fired a government official “two days ago” but did not identify the person.

“The latest was about two days ago and it has been a continuing process without really attributing any guilt on anyone. It is an almost every day affair that I go after graft and corruption. This is what I promised you and I’m doing it and everybody knows it,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)

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