Press Release
December 14, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas wants the 12% value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products to be suspended for at least six months, to provide much-needed relief for Filipinos burdened by record-high prices in the international and domestic oil markets.

The Senate trade committee chairman, in filing Senate Bill No. 1962, said "I implore my colleagues at the Senate and the House to support this measure and have it passed at the soonest possible time."

"Noong ipinatupad ang VAT, ang krudo ay $50 kada bariles lamang. Ngayon, $90 na kada bariles. Ang nakuha ng gobyerno rito, halos P30 bilyon kada taon. Makikita natin na malaki ang kinikita ng gobyerno rito, at sa palagay ko, imbes na antayin pa nating ma-amyenda ang Oil Deregulation Law na matagal pa," he said.

"Ito, simple lang. I-suspend lang natin ang pagpataw ng VAT sa produktong petrolyo, kaginhawaan agad ito, at sa ganoong paraan, makakatulong tayo sa ating mga kababayan. Kung ang diesel ay P38.45 kada litro, P4 na katipiran ang maibibigay natin kaagad," he added.

The Liberal Party President pointed out that a six-month suspension of VAT could also give the government more time to find a more permanent solution to the problem of unabated oil price hikes.

"Various stakeholders such as those in transport and food have been beseeching policymakers for assistance in dealing with oil prices. Suspending the VAT on oil would be a giant step for all Filipinos," he said.

He noted that the passage of Republic Act No. 9337, which lifted the exemption of VAT on power and oil, had been done in good faith that the executive would step up its collection efforts, and that added costs would not be passed on to the public.

"The imposition of additional taxes is no excuse for complacency. Consumers should not be penalized with soaring costs of oil, since it has been the government's failure to optimize tax collections, not to mention exercise its visitorial powers on oil companies," Roxas said.

Since the start of the year, the prevailing pump price of unleaded gasoline has increased by 19.3% or P7.20 per Liter, from P37.25 to P44.4/L; for diesel oil, 15.6% or P5.20/L, from P33.25 to P38.45/L; for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 27.3% or P6.57/L, from P24.07 to P30.64/L; for kerosene, 14.9% or P5.20/L, from P34.79 to P39.99/L; and for fuel oil, 38.3% or P8.21/L, from P21.45 to P29.66/L.

According to SB 1962, the six-month suspension would be followed by a review whereby it would be determined if the 12% VAT should be restored in full or on a staggered basis.

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