Senator Ralph Recto is willing to give his Senate committee post to any takers.
Recto signaled his intentions to step down as Senate Committee on Ways and Means chairman in an attempt to shield his family from “hurtful” criticisms thrown at him over his version of the sin tax bill.
“I am willing to give it up anytime if there are any takers,” Recto said in a phone interview with reporters.
“That’s not a problem for me. But what my family cannot take are the hurtful and disrespectful words,” he added.
The veteran senator expressed belief his life would be easier if he steps down from the panel, which deals with legislation concerning imposition of taxes and tariffs.
"The only reason why I'm not resigning is I don't want to delay the process. I don’t want them to think I want to delay the process,” he explained.
On Wednesday, various groups such as Action for Economic Reforms called for his resignation for his submitting an alleged “watered-down version” of sin tax bill in Senate.
Recto said he came up with a “middle-ground version” of the sin tax bill that projected P14.8 billion revenues from new tax rates to be imposed on tobacco products and P7 billion from alcohol products.
He also called on his critics to be civilized in discussing the measure, clarifying his committee report is still subject to amendments in the plenary next week.
“We talked about this in a civilized manner. They don’t need to be disrespectful. Let us be civilized about this. They have so many voices, I don’t know who to listen to,” he explained.
Earlier, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago accused Recto of giving in to the aggressive lobbying of multi-million tobacco and alcohol sector that is why he came up with such proposal.
Santiago proposed a unitary tax system on sin products that targets to generate P60 billion revenues, which will be used to improve universal health care system in the country.
Santiago also enjoined netizens and students to join her in a “war” against Recto’s bill.
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares said Rector betrayed the government with his version of the measure.
Amid questions hurled against its early partial proclamation, the poll body on Friday named three more winning Senate candidates even before it completed its official count.