While Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo is open to taxing the rich more, she stressed that it should not be the only solution in addressing inequality in the country.
Robredo during an economic forum on Friday, Jan. 21, explained that taxing the rich more “will always be on the table” however, she believes the government must put up mechanisms to “close the gap” between the rich and poor.
“Government should take the lead in putting up mechanisms so that those in the margin are really given the opportunity to succeed. And when I say given the opportunity to succeed, it’s a whole range of many things including education, including focusing on local industries where we have a competitive advantage, including providing social protection for them,” the Vice President said.
“So para sa akin (for me), while I’m open to taxing the rich more, I don’t think that should only be the solution that would be given,” she added.
The aspiring president cited her experience in implementing her Angat Buhay Program, where she saw a lot of people who are more privilege than the others who really want to help but they just don’t know how.
She further said that the role of the government should be to set up mechanisms where people who are in the margins are more empowered and are given more opportunities and prioritized as far as government programs are concerned.
“Taxing more does not resolve the entire spectrum of inequality. Sa akin (For me), it’s really systemic. There are a lot of avenues where government should take the lead in making sure that we close the gap,” she said.
Robredo talked about this during the Meet the Presidentiables: Economic Reforms in the New Frontier program of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) which was held online.
During the forum, the Vice President also vowed to provide a level playing field for businesses by applying laws fairly, strengthening institutions against corruption, and prosecuting those who will take advantage of the government and the people.
“My commitment to the business community: We will create an environment where enterprises have a chance to compete fairly. We will not fixate on restrictions, or merely wait to pounce and penalize those who step an inch out of line. Your voice will be heard as we work for the common good,” Robredo said.
If elected, she aims to build a government trusted by the business community and other stakeholders and sees a level playing field for all as a catalyst for a more equitable development.
“Results can be predicted more reliably, and that risk and volatility can be managed effectively. The energies of the entire nation can thus be focused on the project of nation-building – ensuring that the engines of the economy are engaged full throttle, from the centers of industry to communities in the margins. In so many words: Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat,” she said.