Palace defends VAT on oil

March 11, 2012 12:16 am 

MANILA, March 10 – Malacanang defended the imposition of value added tax (VAT) on oil, saying removing the measures will impact on government programs that help the poor.

The government has been criticized for not considering removing or at least reducing the percentage on the tax on oil products in the midst of the continuing increases in the prices of petroleum products.

There are reports saying Vice President Jejomar Binay called on the administration to cut VAT on oil. Also, a well-known economist proposed for a temporary reduction of VAT on oil being imposed by the government.

In a radio interview Saturday over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the continuous imposition of VAT is not anti-poor and those opposing it are jumping to a wrong conclusion.

“But the fact is, if we take it away… if we temporarily suspend imposing the VAT on oil, may mawawalan po ng revenue, meron pong mga programang mawawalan ng pondo at merong mga taong matitigil yung kanilang benepisyo na kinukuha doon sa mga programang yun,” Valte said.

“And then there is also no solution to that. Parang ang gusto ho nilang (critics) gawin is to take funding from another project at the expense naman of those people who are benefiting from those projects.”

While some consider the lifting of VAT on oil a populace measure, Valte said the public must also think of the implications once the government removes the tax measure being imposed on oil.

“We have to remember that there are implications. You cannot just remove VAT on oil and act as if it is in a vacuum. The reality is if you take away a funding source merong mawawalan, merong mabubutasan, merong maaapektuhan,” she said.

But with regards to the suggestion of the vice president, Valte said they will mention it to the President. Also, she said they’ll ask for the guidance of the finance department on the proposal to reduce the percentage of the tax being imposed on oil. (PNA) RMA/PCOO/as/utb

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