Despite optimism for development, the Philippines continues to lag other major Southeast Asian countries in terms of infrastructure, per capita income, and other economic indicators. Could it be due to corruption? Security issues? Government instability? Overpopulation? The answer is probably yes to all; but other countries fare much worse with the above issues. Thailand and Malaysia, in recent years, have higher profile corruption scandals. Security perception had always been worse for most other countries. Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar suffered from years of war and turmoil. Indonesia has more than double the Philippines’ population.
Could it be due to taxes? The Philippines has the highest income tax rate in Southeast Asia. Is the country lagging behind because the citizens are being taxed too much?
The highest tax bracket in the Philippines is 32% for taxable income PHP 500,000 and above. If you live in another ASEAN country, how much will your marginal tax rate be if your taxable income (annual) is PHP 500,000?*