The Department of Trade and Industry supports the proposal of the Department or Finance to review the excise tax exemption of double-cab pickup trucks, an official said over the weekend.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said double-cab pickup trucks evolved into lifestyle transportation of Filipino families and young professionals, and not as utility vehicle of micro, small and medium enterprises.
“It seems that the imported double-cab pickup is often a fully-accessorized passenger unit―a lifestyle vehicle far from the need and reach of MSMEs,” Pascual said.
A single-cab pickup truck has a single row of seats and two doors, while a double-cab vehicle is an extended version of the single-cab with two rows of seats and four doors.
Pascual said the regular single-cab and chassis pickup, the real utility workhorse vehicle, was exempted from excise tax even before the enactment of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
The DTI said the TRAIN law extended the exemption to the double-cab pick-up to support the cargo mobility requirement of the MSME sector, but this only benefited the portion of population who could afford lifestyle pickup trucks.
The country’s biggest group of car manufacturers and importers warned consumers that the tax exemption measure being pushed by the DOF might cause an increase in the acquisition cost of a pickup unit.
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. said the measure would dampen demand for the vehicle, which is preferred by many corporations and enterprises.
Industry data showed that sales of light commercial vehicles grew by 43.1 percent to 126,133 units in the first eight months from 88,500 in the same period in 2021.
CAMPI said it would continue to talk to the government to strike a balance on what is beneficial to both sides, like the recent resolution of safeguard duty on imported completely built-up vehicles.
“We we were able to handle it in collaboration with government to strike a balance between the interests of government and the private sector. We will continue to discuss this with concerned government agencies,” said CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez.