Most viable option

October 23, 2018

SUSPENDING the value-added-tax (VAT) on basic commodities, like food, fuel and electricity, for one year seems to be the most viable option to counteract the strong inflation pressures on these goods.

Rather than waiting for the suspension of the second tranche of excise taxes next year, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos said lifting the VAT would provide relief to the country’s beleaguered consumers.

“It is really depressing that Filipinos living far from highly-urbanized areas are suffering the brunt of inflation, which could have been readily addressed by immediately suspending the VAT for one year,” she said.

And given the magnitude of prevailing tax rates, the temporary suspension of the VAT on basic necessities would be immediately felt by millions of Filipino families, according to Governor Marcos.

The lady provincial executive said the government has the capacity to absorb the VAT revenue loss given the rising tax revenues with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.

Like Marcos, a daughter of the late President Marcos and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, we believe that the lifting of the VAT will benefit more people, notably the poor, at a faster pace.

TRAIN Law excise taxes will contribute P85 billion while going after tax evaders more vigilantly could add another P25 billion to compensate for the potential revenue loss if VAT is suspended.

The suspension of the VAT for one year is just one of the various proposals aimed at addressing the spiraling prices of basic commodities in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation.

Certainly, democracy flourishes if the government, through concerned offices and agencies, listens to the cries and grievances of the people not only in the metropolis but elsewhere.

And in the view of the people, the Duterte administration is capable of upholding public interest even during trying times.