April 21, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance or Bayan) said the government should immediately remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the prices of electricity and oil products amid power rates hike.
Bayan said this move will provide significant and immediate relief to consumers.
Bayan Secretary-General Renato M. Reyes Jr. said that this month of April, the public was struck by the sudden significant surge in their electric bills due to different factors particularly the increase in generation and distribution charges.
“We should not forget that one of the greatest burdens imposed on consumers in the VAT on power which is slapped on almost all items of our electric bill,” said Reyes.
According to the group, there will be at least 10% reduction in power rates once the VAT will be scrapped. Generation and distribution rates are among the many items that have VAT. Bayan said that even systems losses and franchise taxes are also charged with VAT.
People Opposed to Warantless Electricity Rates (POWER) Engr. Ramon Ramirez said that the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is accumulating profits while consumers are suffering from the unjust power rate hikes. He cited as an example a heavily-taxed item such as power from natural gas is again taxed with VAT.
Bayan challenged presidential bets to come up with a plan to help consumers in looking for ways or relief from rising electric and fuel prices. Bayan said that many of the candidates are supporters of VAT.
Reyes said that many of those who voted in favor of VAT on petroleum products and electricity are running for national positions. He also said that the next members of the Congress will be the same people who are pro-VAT. “None of the front-running presidential candidates have so far shown a resolve to remove the VAT on oil and power,” Reyes stressed.
Bayan said that long term solutions to the power crisis that the Filipino people are experiencing are badly needed. Reyes said that the high rates cannot just be blamed to El Niño and the lessened electric generation capacity.
“The privatized electric power industry has placed the energy security of the country in the hands of the profit-oriented private foreign investors. It is no wonder that profits will always come first,” Reyes ended. # nordis.net