Press Release
August 8, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas lamented the administration's belated decision to conduct consultations with stakeholders in raising the base for the common carriers tax of public utility vehicles (PUV), especially as this is a matter that could directly have an impact on people's pockets.

"Why seek public hearings with the transport sector only after announcing the tax increase, and only after the sector raised a howl about this? This betrays not only the lack of proper fiscal planning but also the apparent disinterest in consulting the public, an imperative in a democracy," he said.

"Para bang sinuntok mo muna ang tao bago sinabing 'pare, puwede nating pag-usapan ito.' Hindi puwedeng golpe-de-gulat na lang lagi," he added.

Roxas stressed that in sensitive issues such as raising taxes, the public must be consulted transparently and thoroughly before actions are taken.

He said that while the increase - effectively at 2,600% - in transport taxes would directly impact on operators, drivers and other transport employees, the net-effect would be an increased pressure for fare hikes, which would affect the commuting public. He said this action, if pursued, would be unjust to the people, especially if their pockets would be considered in the picture.

"Nagmahal na raw ang spare parts, pati ang presyo ng gasolina. Ngayon, itataas ang buwis na babawiin mula sa maliit niyang kita. Talagang bibigat ang pasanin niya, at ano pa ang lohikal na puwedeng gawin kundi igiit ang pagtaas ng pamasahe?" he said.

Government officials announced last Tuesday that BIR Revenue Regulations 9-2007, dated Aug. 1, which adjusts the minimum gross income from its 1978 levels, may be implemented on a graduated basis instead of all at once. The regulation would have taken effect on August 18 if it was not deferred.

While Roxas was dismayed with the turn of events, he is vindicated by the government's decision to shelve the one-off transport tax hike and its announcement that it would consider a graduated increase instead. While a graduated increase would be a logical and sound alternative, he stressed that this, too, must undergo a process of sincere dialogue and study.

Roxas further stressed that if the government was serious in meeting revenue targets, it should then seriously implement existing laws such as the Lateral Attrition Law, which provides a system of reward and punishment for revenue officers.

News Latest News Feed