PROCEEDS FROM a proposed tax on wealthy individuals’ assets have been estimated at P467.1 billion, with the exercise in “redistribution” holding the potential to fund health and social welfare programs, according to a left-wing think tank.

IBON Foundation said in a statement Monday that the proposed wealth tax on individuals with taxable assets exceeding P1 billion will affect about 2,919 people.

“At the very top are around 2,919 Filipino billionaires with some P8.1 trillion in wealth. They comprise less than 0.003% of the population but hold 16% of the nation’s wealth,” IBON said.

The estimated revenue would be “more than enough” to provide P10,000 in emergency aid to 18.6 million vulnerable households, subsidies for micro, small, and medium enterprises to support a wage increase of P100 per day for three months, and hiring additional health workers, among others.

“Collecting just a fraction of the huge wealth of the few is a step to redistributing wealth towards the working people who did so much to create it,” IBON said.

Legislators from the minority Makabayan bloc filed House Bill 10253 or the proposed Super-Rich Tax Act of 2021 that will impose a tax of 1-3%, depending on the extent the assets exceed P1 billion.

As drafted, the bill proposes a 1% rate on taxable assets exceeding P1 billion; a 2% rate on assets above P2 billion; and a 3% rate on assets above P3 billion.

The bill proposes an effectivity date for the tax of Jan. 1, 2022, if passed.

According to the bill, revenue from the tax is to be used for medical assistance and investment in education, employment, social protection, and housing for poor families.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the proposed tax will drive capital out of the Philippines.

Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, proposed instead to tax the inefficient use of land, including golf courses and low-density subdivisions. — Russell Louis C. Ku