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No ifs or VAT: Marcos seeks tax freeze on food items, fuel

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Friday called for the immediate one-year suspension of the value-added tax on basic food commodities, fuel, and electricity to address the record-high inflation that has burdened Filipinos for several months now.

No ifs or VAT: Marcos seeks  tax freeze on food items, fuel
Imee Marcos
Marcos, who is running for senator in the 2019 midterm polls, also pushed for implementation of a combination of substitute measures intended to offset the expected revenue loss from her proposed VAT suspension.

“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 cannot wait for anti-inflation strategies that could take months to work. They need solutions now,” said Marcos, who served nine years in the House of Representatives.

READ: More to gain from VAT suspension—Imee​

“A combination of 10 percent improvement in income tax collection, higher absorptive capacity or much less agency underspending, and three other measures can generate P362 billion in revenues. That would replace the VAT that would be missed,” she said.

Meanwhile, a party-list lawmaker said the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law has also hurt families that rent their homes.

1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero asked the Palace to address the increase in housing costs as a result of TRAIN’s value-added tax costs being passed on to tenants.

“It is clear from the data of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that housing rentals have increased and this has contributed to the rise in inflation over these past months. In the latest inflation data for September, housing rentals accounted for 0.40 percentage points of the total 6.7 percent inflation that month,” he said.

The Palace must jointly task the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council to make sure that landlords and other lessors are not abusing or finding reasons to charge their tenants more to make up for the VAT imposed by the TRAIN Law and the additional charges to inflate rent, he said.

Also on Friday, Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy of the Bagong Henerasyon party-list group said the 10 percent discount on the fare for public utility vehicles should be implemented now.

“LTFRB and other public transport regulatory agencies must implement this provision of RA 10963 now so that those who are not covered by the 20 percent discount for seniors, PWDs, and students will also be shielded from the inflationary impact of the TRAIN Law,” Herrera-Dy said, referring to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

READ: Tax freeze to curb inflation—DoF

READ: Clamor mounts for oil tax freeze before Christmas

Topics: Imee Marcos , value-added tax , House of Representatives , Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law
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