Press Release
May 14, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas renewed his call for the government to come to the aid of consumers and support the proposed suspension of the value-added tax (VAT) on oil, as prices of LPG will be hiked by independent sellers on Friday.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce said the announcement of the LPG Marketing Association (LPGMA) that they will hike prices means an additional burden to consumers of P5.50 per 11-kilo tank.

"Sa panahong mataas ang presyo ng bigas at ng pagkain, panibagong pasanin na naman ito sa ating mga maybahay na hirap nang balansehin ang kanilang mga pang-araw-araw na budget," he said.

"Ipit din ang mga maliliit na negosyante na nagka-carinderia o nag-o-operate ng canteen sa mga opisina. Ganoon din ang ating mga tsuper ng taxi na nag-convert sa LPG," he added.

The recent increase announced by LPGMA brings the cost of an 11-kilo LPG tank from independent marketers from P557 to P563. Meanwhile, as monitored by the Department of Energy (DOE), the prevailing price of LPG from oil companies hiked last Saturday by more than a peso per kilo, to P591 per tank.

Roxas computed that if the VAT on oil is suspended, it will result to savings worth P60 to P63 per 11-kilogram tank of LPG. On other oil products, it will result to savings of P4.60 per liter of diesel and P5.40 per liter of gasoline.

The Liberal Party President challenged the Department of Finance (DOF) to explain to each and every jeepney, bus and taxi driver why the government keeps on refusing to support their calls to suspend the VAT on oil products.

"DOF is claiming that it's better to keep the P45-billion oil VAT revenues and use it to fund social services. Kung ganoon, dapat nilang ilantad ang detalye ng mga 'social services' na ito sa mga tsuper natin at ipaliwanag sa kanila kung paano makakarating at makatutulong sa kanila ang mga ito," he said.

He also called on the government to make up their minds on how much in revenues will really be lost if the VAT on oil is suspended. He noted that the recent figure is P45 billion, while in previous announcements it was P30 billion.

"Apparently, they've upgraded their figures to reflect the prevailing price of oil worldwide. So it seems to me that they're not only protecting lost revenues: they're also protecting a potential windfall, that could make the revenue numbers look much better," he said.

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