It spreads like a wildfire.

A year ago, two masteral students from DLSU made a thesis about the possible taxing of OFW remittance. I just couldn’t find my file of it. The .gif copy of the thesis was widely ciculated among OFWs, generating a lively debate and reaction online.  Nothing was heard about it since then.

Rumor:

An OFW went home for vacation. He ask a friend from overseas to send money to him via Western Union.

The Western Union officer asked him if he is aware of the impending implementation of 15% tax on remittances?.

The WU Officer said it was not a joke, that they received a circular already about the it. In fact, the 15% tax is now programmed in their system and they are just awaiting for the final memo from the government. He said that it has been reviewed by the Senate and approval is just a matter of time.

The truth:

However, after googling the issue, i found some websites which clarified the matter.

According to Migrante-ME’s John L. Monterona, it was not 15% VAT but 0.15% Documentary Stamp Tax.

Monterona said Migrante and other OFWs have got the information that the Arroyo administration will soon be imposing a Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) on all international transfer from a branch of Western Union based in the United Arab Emirates.

“Our sources have confirmed this impending imposition of Documentary Stamp Tax equivalent to 0.15% of the remitted amount,” Monterona continued.

“The said documentary stamp tax (DST) will cover all remittance companies and banks in the Philippines as confirmed by our sources,” Monterona added.

“If an OFW is to send US100 for his wife, which is Php.4, 160 based on the current exchange rate where 0.15% as (DST) amount is Php. 6.24 to be deducted from his remittance, (aside from the remittance fee of 35 Riyals (Php.130) charged by remittance center where he send his remittance). The remittance to receive by OFW family is obviously not enough in time of soaring prices of food and basic commodities,” Monterona added.

Monterona explained that tough 0.15% (DST) is relatively small but if imposed to almost 10-Million overseas Filipinos abroad this is roughly reach to an amount of Php. 62-M monthly income by the Arroyo administration.

If this one will push through, maybe then it is time for all OFW to unite and do something about remittance — like Migrante’s call to limit remittance.

The conspiracy theorists suspect that the reason the Malacanang is doing this (if it comes to pass), is because of the botched deal on NBN and JMSU. The loss of such huge kickback is a threat to 2010 plans. And walla, they found another way of generating funds.

I don’t know if PCIJ or our “pro-people” Congressional representatives ever heard of it. But this one is a very serious concern to all OFWs.

Sobrang pahirap. Hirap na nga mabuhay sa Pilipinas, kakarampot mong kinita sa pamamagitan ng ating luha, pawis at dugo, kokotongan pa ng gobyerno.

Kalabisan na.

 

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