Press Release
May 5, 2008


Opposition senator Chiz Escudero today called on the government to "stop electrocuting us with silly charges that hurts".

Escudero said one of the primary reasons for the country's expensive power cost is the slapping of value added tax (VAT) on systems loss. However, the senator said there is no provision in the RVAT law that this should be. "It is bad enough that we end up paying for electricity that is lost to illegal connections "and to heat", but coughing up an additional 12% tax to phantom power is too much". He said VAT is supposed to be a levy on goods and services, on tangibles one receives and enjoys, not on imaginary things like electricity which has vaporized or vandalized.

The senator said a VAT on systems loss is therefore a tax on theft, only that in this case it is the victim who pays. But he doesn't pay for the actual cost of what had been stolen from him, but he becomes a victim twice over when he pays, by some weird logic, a 12% tax on the reimbursement he pays in behalf of the thief.

The government, according to Escudero, should scrap VAT on systems loss, which it can do by swift administrative action.

"Kung ayaw nilang tanggalin ang VAT sa kabuuan, sana man lang dun sa kuryenteng di na makita at nagamit ay huwag na nilang patawan pa ng buwis. At sana magkaroon ng seryosong pagtutulungan kung paano maiibsan ang nawawalang kuryente: mula sa pag-aayos ng sistema ng transmission at distribution, sa pagsupil sa mga nagnanakaw ng kuryente mahirap man o mayaman at seguridad sa power assets sa mga komunidad".

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