Lawmaker Casiño bats for 50% cut in VAT for basic utilities
DAVAO CITY—Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño has proposed a bill seeking to cut in half the value-added tax (VAT) imposed on petroleum products, water and electricity and he hopes to get positive endorsements.
“At the start of the 15th Congress in 2010, I filed two bills to exempt oil and electricity from VAT but the Aquino administration refused to even discuss these proposals,” Casiño said in a statement.
He said that just last week, he filed a bill that seeks to reduce the VAT on petroleum, water and electricity to six percent, or 50 percent lower than the current rate of 12 percent.
“With this new bill to cut the VAT by half, we hope to revive discussions on the various proposals to remove or reduce the VAT on basic utilities,” Casiño said.
The militant lawmaker said it was high time the government addressed the skyrocketing prices of oil and basic utilities to provide immediate relief to consumers.
“The 50-percent reduction of the VAT rate will bring down prices of oil products by as much as P3 per liter, electricity by at least 38 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh) for lifeline electricity users, and at least 50 in the bills of residential water users,” he said.
Casiño described the VAT as “a regressive tax that should not be imposed on basic utilities because it magnifies the problem of high prices.”
“The windfall revenues that government collects due to soaring prices are immoral and an additional burden on the people,” he said.
Casiño said that if Malacañang had no plans to address the VAT issue, Congress could always step in by approving his proposed law.
“I am calling on ways and means committee chair Rep. Isidro Ungab to immediately set a hearing for this bill and other measures that would alleviate the burden of rising prices,” Casiño said.
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