Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño House Bill 6416 is urging the House of Representatives to cut the 12-percent value added tax (VAT) on oil products, electricity and water by half to six percent.
The 50-percent reduction in VAT rate would bring down prices of oil products by as much as P3 per liter, of electricity by at least 38 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) and at least P50 in the case of water. According to Casino, the House of Representative and the Senate should act decisively to give some form of relief to consumers.
“The VAT is a regressive tax that should not be imposed on basic utilities because it magnifies the problem of high prices. The windfall revenues that government collects due to soaring prices is immoral and an additional burden on the people,” Casiño stressed.
In the case of electricity, he said there are common-sense measures that could be taken immediately to cut the cost of power on the part of consumers. All it takes is political will on the part of the Aquino administration, Congress and the Energy Regulatory Commission, Casiño said.
The lawmaker could not understand why the people continue to be required to pay for the electricity that is either stolen or lost from transmission and distribution lines, including the VAT. “We should not pay for electricity that we don’t use,” he stressed.