Rep. Edcel C. Lagman filed on June 30, 2022 House Bill No. 76 “mandating the teaching of tax literacy, consciousness and responsibility in intermediate, secondary, technical-vocational, and tertiary education.”
Lagman said that the “Tax Consciousness and Responsibility Act” will complement the government’s efforts to improve tax collection efficiency to accelerate economic recovery.
In the explanatory note to the bill, Lagman invoked the truism that “nothing in this world is certain except for death and taxes” but he maintained that the sequence must be corrected placing tax before death “because having to pay one’s taxes usually comes before death and there is more open defiance in paying taxes compared to accepting the eventuality of death.”
Lagman added that “inculcating tax consciousness and voluntary tax compliance in young people will help create a future generation of citizens who will not only pay their taxes more willingly and on time, they will also more likely demand accountability and improved and more accessible social services from the government because they know that they have done their part and have contributed their share to ensure more responsive, more responsible, and more people-centered governance for all.”
The bill mandates the inclusion of tax education covering tax literacy, tax consciousness, compliance and responsibility as a civic and patriotic duty in the curriculum of “intermediate and secondary education classes as well as in graduating classes in technical-vocational and tertiary education in both public and private schools, colleges, and universities.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is mandated “to prepare age-appropriate tax education curriculum and modules, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and in consultation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); the Bureau of Customs (BoC); recognized tax experts, lawyers, and academicians; and local and national youth organizations.”
The following shall be the subjects for instruction:
History of taxation;
Importance of taxation for national and local development and delivery of basic social and economic services;
Tax literacy and consciousness as a civic duty;
Facets and kinds of national and local taxes;
Regular, prompt, and correct payment of taxes as a citizen’s duty, responsibility, and obligation;
The obligation of the State to pay back to the people the taxes they have contributed; and
The right of citizens to demand accountability and good governance.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN