Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday urged the country’s economic managers to give consumers at least a taste of the government’s supposed “tax windfall” by imposing a limit on the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) on various items.
Lacson said such a move will at least ease the burden on ordinary Filipino consumers already laboring under the weight of skyrocketing costs of living.
“EVAT collections are gaining a windfall because everything is up. Take gas prices, which cost less than P40 a liter at the time the VAT was expanded, to P52 a liter now. Similar price hikes have been noted for electricity and medicines. Why not have the Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue compute the windfall and correspondingly reduce or remove the VAT on basic needs?” he said.
He added the government can complement this by undertaking an honest-to-goodness belt-tightening effort among its agencies.
Lacson noted that in prices of fuel alone, there was at least a 60-percent increase in prices of fuel. With a 12-percent EVAT imposed on fuel, he noted a windfall is to be expected.
But he said such a windfall would be useless if the ordinary consumer does not feel its benefits and continues to “fund” it with hard-earned money, which he said is already barely enough to make ends meet.
“The collections of BIR and DOF may be going up, but this is at the expense of the ordinary Filipino consumer. There should be a benchmark or limit for EVAT collections, if only to ease the burden,” he said.