Gov. Imee Mar­cos calls for 1-year VAT sus­pen­sion, pushes a combo of sub­sti­tute mea­sures to raise P362 B to off­set rev­enue losses

Palawan Daily News - - Region -

Ilo­cos Norte Gover­nor Imee Mar­cos has called for the im­me­di­ate one-year sus­pen­sion of the Value Added Tax on ba­sic food com­modi­ties, fuel and elec­tric­ity to ad­dress the record­high in­fla­tion that has bur­dened Filipinos for sev­eral months now.

Mar­cos, who is run­ning for sen­a­tor in the 2019 midterm polls, said a com­bi­na­tion of sub­sti­tute mea­sures can 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,” Mar­cos stressed.

“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.

Bu­reau of In­ter­nal Rev­enues fig­ures show that if in­come tax col­lec­tions grow by just 10 per­cent, the gov­ern­ment can earn at least P102 bil­lion in 2018 and P113 bil­lion in 2019.

“I have con­fi­dence in the lead­er­ship and per­sua­sive pow­ers of Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez over the BIR and other rev­enue agen­cies. I am not ask­ing for the im­pos­si­ble. Hav­ing been a gover­nor and con­gress­woman, I am very aware of what can be done as re­gards tax ad­min­is­tra­tion and col­lec­tion,” said Mar­cos who also served as leg­is­la­tor for nine years in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives rep­re­sent­ing Sec­ond District of Ilo­cos Norte from 1998 to 2007.

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Fi­nance, ba­sic food items such as rice, fish, meat and veg­eta­bles have been ma­jor driv­ers of in­fla­tion this year, with the con­tri­bu­tion of rice alone ris­ing 10 times to 1 per­cent­age point of the in­fla­tion rate.

Data from the Philip­pine Statis­tics Agency showed that rice was the num­ber one con­trib­u­tor to in­fla­tion in Sep­tem­ber 2018, and that food items in the con­sump­tion bas­ket ac­counted for more than half of the in­fla­tion rate in the same month.

“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,” 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 for the re­cov­ery and ex­pan­sion of the agri­cul­tural sec­tor. Filipinos, most es­pe­cially the poor, will be clearcut win­ners if we can sus­pend VAT for a year as this will bring down the prices of food, fuel and elec­tric­ity,” the gover­nor added.

Mar­cos noted that Ilo­cos Norte was the hard­est hit by the sky­rock­et­ing in­fla­tion, thus mak­ing it hard for her con­stituents to make ends meet due to high prices of ba­sic com­modi­ties.

Mar­cos said while Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte can­not amend the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion, he can sus­pend its im­ple­men­ta­tion through an Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der.(P.R)

From right to left Gover­nor Jose Chaves Al­varez, Ilo­cos Norte Gover­nor Imee Mar­cos, and for­mer Pres­i­dent Spokesper­son Atty. Harry Roque. Photo taken Nov.4, 2018 Photo by Sev Borda III/ Pal­wan Daily News.

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