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Tax Advocacy Toolkit

While some pioneering civil society groups have long been campaigning for fairer tax systems, the critical role of tax in achieving development and social justice has often been neglected by civil society in the North and the South. For many, tax is a complex topic, best left to ‘experts’. But this need not be the case.

Tax may appear technical, but it is an issue too critical to bypass. Fair and effective tax collection is essential for raising the revenue to deliver services that citizens need. It is a powerful tool for redistributing wealth within society to address poverty and inequality. And tax is the glue that builds accountability of governments to their citizens.

The toolkit is not intended to be read from cover to cover in one sitting. It is designed to allow you to dip in and read the sections that are most relevant to your level of experience and knowledge, your interests and your context. We hope there’s some useful material here for everyone and that it inspires you to take forward, or start, your tax justice advocacy. Around the world, organisations and networks are demanding tax justice in growing numbers. Together we can create a sea change in tax policy that genuinely benefits those living in poverty and creates a more equitable distribution of resources, North and South.

Appeal for Inclusion of the Passage of the Freedom of Information Act in the President’s Priority Measures for consideration by LEDAC

We look to your leadership, in cooperation with Congress through the LEDAC, to secure for the country an enabling legal environment for transparency. We make this appeal fully aware of your appreciation of the value of a Freedom of Information Act in promoting good governance, transparency and accountability, and responsive government services.

Mr. President, please heed the people’s call for a Freedom of Information Act now.

Addressing the Concerns on the Proposed Freedom of Information Act

After years of Congressional inaction, the proposed Freedom of Information advanced significantly in the 14th Congress and almost reached passage when it was unanimously approved by the bicameral conference committee. Unfortunately, while the Senate ratified the bicameral conference report, the House of Representatives failed to do the same, and the measure will have to go through the legislative mill again in the 15th Congress.

PNoy urged to include FOI and fiscal reform bills in priority agenda

Freedom of Information (FOI) advocate and Right to Know, Right Now! convenor Nepomuceno Malaluan and Action for Economic Reforms (AER) President Jessica Cantos wrote Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, urging the President Aquino to include FOI, cigarette tax reform, and fiscal incentives rationalization bills in the President’s legislative agenda.

Pro-tobacco solons wrong on retaining cigarette excise tax

Last week, Representatives Victor Ortega (1st District La Union) and Eric Singson (2nd District Ilocos Sur) defended tobacco interests, arguing that there is no need to correct the excise tax on tobacco and cigarettes. They repeated the call earlier made by Phillip Nelson, President of Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp. This if-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it argument is wrong. The system is really in shambles: the rates are not keeping up with inflation; some brands are still taxed based on their 1996 prices; and we have a complicated four-rate tax structure.