Business groups reject suspension of oil and electricity taxes

Louella Desiderio – Star from the Philippines

November 6, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – Eight business organizations are urging presidential candidates seeking to suspend taxes on oil and electricity to reconsider their position and instead ask for targeted aid for certain sectors, citing the need for government revenue to the response to the pandemic and to support economic recovery.

Institute of Financial Executives of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, Go Negosyo, Association of Philippine Investment Houses, Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Association of Philippine retailers and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association made the appeal yesterday in a statement.

“We understand the desire to bring relief to the public and offset rising inflation. However, instead of a general suspension or reduction in taxes, we urge them to consider targeted measures proven to help sectors and citizens who need it most, ”the groups said.

By having targeted measures, the groups said the impact on government revenue would be limited.

The groups stressed that the government needs funds to continue to fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate economic recovery, as well as job creation.

The groups said public utility vehicles (PVUs) only made up about 30% of total diesel consumption.

As such, the benefit of a general petroleum tax suspension would go to those who do not operate or use LCVs.

“These are funds the government could and should use for public services that would most benefit low-income and vulnerable Filipinos,” the groups said.

The groups said targeted measures such as subsidies to the transport sector would help offset the impact of increases in fuel prices.

The subsidies would also allow PUV operators to earn a decent income without having to increase costs for commuters.

The groups said targeted measures could also cover cash transfers to low-income communities.

These cash transfers can also leverage the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program and social improvement program systems.

Earlier, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, presidential candidate in next year’s election, said he planned to cut the tax on petroleum products, as well as electricity by 50% to help consumers and businesses.

Other presidential contenders, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Senator Panfilo Lacson, have also called on the government to suspend excise taxes on oil.

Voter education

Meanwhile, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) is set to officially launch today its national voter education campaign with the aim of guiding the public in choosing the right leaders in the elections of 2022.

The Catholic Church-affiliated PPCRV is expected to host a series of online forums this month to kick off its voter education campaign by region.

The campaign will center on discussions of the 16 values ​​of a “Maka Pilipinas” (Pro-Philippines) leader that voters should look for in candidates.

For today, the campaign will focus on voters in Luzon excluding the National Capital Region (NCR).

The campaign will launch for voters in the Visayas and the NCR on November 13 and for voters in Mindanao and other stakeholders on November 20.

The PPCRV hosted a “Train the Trainers” online summit on October 30 to prepare its volunteers to participate in the nationwide launch of the voter education program. The voter education module was unveiled during the training, in which the 16 values ​​that voters themselves should practice and seek in the country’s next leaders were discussed.

“Our module focuses on the 16 values ​​enshrined in our Constitution. We believe that by living and sharing these core values ​​not only by ourselves but above all by our candidates, our national vision of improving moral standards in government and in society can be realized, ”said the president. PPCRV national, Myla Villanueva, at a virtual training forum.

In campaign videos titled “MakaPilipinas Anthem” and “Panatang MakaPilipinas” posted on its Facebook account yesterday, the PPCRV urged voters to seek values ​​in choosing the country’s next rulers, such as being pious, humane, just, peaceful , patriot and clarity of vision, among others. – Elisabeth Marcelo

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