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Suspend VAT for one year to address inflation – Imee
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Suspend VAT for one year to address inflation – Imee

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, October 12 ------ Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos is proposing a one-year suspension of the value-added tax (VAT) on basic food commodities, fuel, and electricity in a bid to solve the rising inflation. “The temporary lifting of the VAT on basic commodities will provide urgent, much-needed relief to Filipinos, as inflation hit the hardest in the countryside. The poor Filipinos, they cannot wait for anti-inflation strategies that could take months to work. They need solutions now,” Governor Marcos pointed out.

“Filipinos cannot wait for global oil prices to go down. Prices are already too high for Filipinos living below the poverty line. Removing the VAT would lighten the burden on millions of Filipino households and would make their Christmases litter lighter amid the high prices.” The TRAIN Law has Sections 31 to 34 (pages 31 to 44) pertaining to VAT. These sections amended the old provisions of the Tax Code about VAT. Governor Marcos said, “The VAT suspension will run parallel to the anti-inflation measures of the Duterte economic team and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It will buy time to set our economy back in shape.”

“Our poor constituents are greatly benefited if the VAT suspended for at least one year because this will cause the lowering of prices of food, gasoline and electricity,” said Marcos.
Though the President cannot amend the law, he can suspend its implementation through an Executive Order (EO).

Meanwhile, Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo has added her voice to growing calls for the government to suspend the next excise tax increases on fuel and oil products to help curb the rising inflation. “This is one of our requests since last month, we hope the second tranche of excise tax on gasoline won’t be imposed,” Robredo said in Filipino. “I hope it will be suspended, because if the [gas] prices are like these, the people are really at a disadvantage,” she noted.

The Vice President once again reiterated her call for the suspension excise tax increases on fuel and oil products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law following the latest big-time oil price hike. Oil prices hit $80.8 per barrel last week. Such increase pushes common gasoline prices up to P59 to P62 per liter, and diesel to P47.95 to P50.75 per liter. On top of this, an additional increase of P2 excise tax will be slapped on petroleum products starting January, 2019, under the tax reform law. Robredo had already called on President Duterte to certify as urgent the BawasPresyo Bill that seeks to suspend the excise tax on fuel imposed by the TRAIN law to address the rising prices of goods. “We plead to our senator, congressmen, including President Duterte to certify it as urgent because we want to control the rising inflation,” she said. The measure has been filed by opposition Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV at the Senate and Marikina 2nd District Rep. MiroQuimbo in the House of Representatives.