Press Release
January 8, 2008


"I am absolutely dismayed by the Palace's decision to reject outright my proposal to suspend the 12% EVAT on oil as a way to help our people cope with rising oil prices.

"I disagree with the President's economic team that a moratorium of the EVAT on oil will result in a weaker peso, less government services, and a bigger budget deficit.

"On the other hand, we will only let the people's suffering continue if we do not act now to suspend the EVAT on oil. Our consumption-dependent economy will stall as our people's purchasing power continues to weaken due to high oil prices.

"Ordinary consumers would directly benefit from the temporary scrapping of the EVAT on oil, and government would still be able to collect taxes because the people will use these savings to buy other products and goods that also carry EVAT.

"Reduction in oil tariffs as pegged to the price of crude in the world market is an example of token-ism or "pakitang-tao" because it yields only a small relief to people's wallets.

"Government must decide between the 'macho goal' of a balanced budget and its solemn duty to provide millions of households facing mounting debts and monthly budget deficits with immediate financial relief. It must also prove itself as a worthy recipient of our people's hard-earned money by showing real results in running after smugglers, corrupt officials, and bigtime tax evaders.

"Despite this rejection, I will continue to pursue this advocacy of Zero VAT on Oil. I have requested Senator Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate ways and means committee, to schedule my proposed bill for a public hearing where all sectors and views about this issue will be welcomed."

News Latest News Feed