Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla on Tuesday filed Resolution No. 410 calling on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and other appropriate Senate committees to look into possibly collecting taxes from “multinational online streaming services and the digital economy.”
“We need to embrace the digital revolution of our time, and to comprehensively review and update our existing tax laws regarding the digital economy,” Revilla said in a statement.
Apart from financing the country’s recovery plan, the senator said it may also fund the “rehabilitation of severely affected industries, and the construction of ‘Schools for the Future’ which are equipped with digital technologies and laboratories.”
Revilla pointed out Filipinos have been recognized as “voracious online users” who typically spend 10 hours and two minutes on the internet daily, higher than the global average of six hours and 42 minutes per day. Based on this data, It seems Revilla wants to cash out of Filipinos’ high Internet usage.
“Filipinos spend around four hours and 12 minutes on various social media platforms every day, nearly double the global daily average of two hours and 16 minutes. Filipinos spend at least 3.3 hours daily watching online content on mobile devices,” he pointed out.
Further, the senator stressed the technologically advanced countries like Norway, Australia, Japan, France, South Korea, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia have their respective digital service tax laws.
“Habang patuloy po ang pagpapatupad natin ng quarantine measures tulad ng social distancing at pagbabawal sa mass gathering, at sa pagpasok nga po natin doon sa tinatawag na ‘New Normal,’ tiyak pong mas marami tayong kababayan na gagamit ng technology-based services tulad ng mga online streaming at online market,” Revilla said.
(While quarantine measures like social distancing and barred mass gatherings are enforced and how we are shifting to ‘new normal,’ I’m sure more of our countrymen will use technology-based services like online streaming and online market.)
A similar proposal was made in Congress’ lower chamber by House ways and means committee chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda.
Salceda said the new tax measures may be referred to as “Netflix tax” for video and music streaming sites, “Facebook ads tax” for digital advertisements, and “Lazada tax” for online marketplaces.
Revilla’s critic, however, raises their eyebrows saying Revilla is back again with a set of new tricks on how to pocket more tax money.
The “budot” senator spend years in detention over plunder.