QUEZON CITY — Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) Representative Liza Maza last week criticized the Arroyo administration and called for the immediate passage of bills removing Value Added Tax (VAT) on oil and the repeal of Reformed Value Added Tax (RVAT).
Maza also called for price intervention from the Arroyo government with runaway inflation, now at 12.2%, hitting the poor hardest.
According to Maza, the rising inflation rate brought about by an unending increase in food prices betrays the failure of the so-called ‘Katas ng VAT’ poverty alleviation measures that the Arroyo has pompously flaunted in the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“This calls for drastic reforms in policy and governance that will bring food prices to levels that our people can afford. We believe the immediate removal of the 12% VAT is in order,” said Maza.
The Gabriela solon noted that the lowest-income families, who spend most of their meager income for food, suffer most from the government’s economic mismanagement.
“President Arroyo boasts of having women and children line up for hours for the cheap rice she provides, subsidies and doleouts but the grim reality is: Wala nang pagkain sa mga hapag kainan!” (There is no more to eat on the dining table.)
Government statistics in fact note that inflation was highest in rice at 50 % in July from 43% in June; corn, 40.6% from 34.3%; fruits and vegetables, 13.8 %from 12.5 %.
“All in all, food inflation was at 18.6 in July from 17.4% in June,” said Maza.
A slowdown in the increase in the prices of consumer products would be possible should the government immediately suspend if not repeal the VAT outright, Maza added as she called on other congress representatives to immediately act on House Bill 3458 removing the 12% VAT on oil products and HB 3433 to repeal the RVAT, both filed by Gabriela Women’s Party representatives.
Both Maza and Luz Ilagan have likewise co-authored HB 1724 to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law. # GWP Release