The labor department is studying the impact of the proposed congressional tax reform measure on workers' income.

In an order, a technical working group has started a series of consultations, conferences, focus group discussions and similar activities to gather inputs and insights from experts and stakeholders on the government's Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act now pending consideration at the Senate.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Administrative Order No. 460 early this month constituting the TWG tasked to facilitate the consultations among labor and employers' groups, the academe and economic experts.

The TWG is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Policy Support and composed of the heads of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), Department Legislative Liaison Office (DLLO), Legal Service (LS) and Planning Service (PS) as members.

The ILS also serves as the Secretariat responsible for the inter-agency coordination and monitoring while the DLLO is tasked to regularly report on the status of the proposed legislation.

The Department of Finance has said Senate Bill No. 1409 or TRAIN aims to benefit 99 percent of Filipinos by increasing their take-home pay through income tax cuts and by providing social protection measures, such as targeted cash transfer programs for the country's poor and vulnerable sectors.

TRAIN provides complete exemption for the first P150,000 annual taxable income and retains the P82,000 tax exemption for 13th month pay and other bonuses.

It also sets the maximum additional tax exemption for up to four dependents at P100,000. This gives a worker with four dependents an approximate tax-free monthly income of P25,000.

Source: Department Of Labor and Employment Republic of Philippines