Press Release
February 25, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas said the impending increase on oil tariffs from 1% to 2% just goes to show how disinterested the government is in helping the people amid weaker consuming power due to high prices and a weak dollar.

The Liberal Party president pressed for more effective and immediate measures to help the public cope with continued high oil prices, in particular, the proposed zero-value added tax on petroleum products.

"We're not yet in the clear. Local pump prices will be down by 50 centavos a liter by March and the government already thinks all is well, that it's okay to impose higher tariffs once more," Roxas, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce said.

"Nahihirapan ang taumbayan na magtiwala sa kasalukuyang administrasyon dahil sa ang solusyong ibinibigay nito sa mga tunay na problema ng ating mga konsyumer at komyuter ay pakitang-tao lang. Ngayon, binabawi pa!" he added.

Roxas is adamant in his position that suspending the 12% VAT on petroleum products will instead be of greater help to the people who are reeling from high prices of commodities.

It has been reported that Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes had signed last week for the tariff increase, to be implemented in March. It was just last month that the Energy department had lowered the tariff rate from 3% to 1%, which even then Roxas had criticized as inadequate in alleviating the burden of Filipinos.

Last February 20, oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange had closed at $100.01, a record level that indicates the world's oil woes are far from over.

"Let's look at the situation with eyes wide open. We have our entire nation affected by the worldwide situation on oil, and the VAT on petroleum products adds to the pain. We're asking the government to look in favor on giving relief of P4 per liter of diesel, or P65 per LPG tank," Roxas said.

"The government has admitted that this will have a relatively small impact of P15 billion in tax revenues. Kaya bakit pa nila ito ipinagdadamot sa taumbayan?" he added.

The Liberal Party President has filed Senate Bill No. 1962 seeking the suspension of the VAT on oil products for six months, which has begun deliberations at the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, led by Sen. Francis Escudero. A counterpart bill has been filed at the House of Representatives by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio "Jun" Abaya.

News Latest News Feed