Roxas: Gov't should sacrifice, not the people

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , , , | 0 comments

Contrary to what was presented during the SONA last Monday, Senator Mar Roxas said the value-added tax (VAT) on oil is not the “be-all and end-all” in solving widespread poverty and hunger.
Removing the VAT on oil will not spell the end of government social programs. Hindi SONA ang nangyari kahapon kundi isandaang dahilan kung bakit dapat ipagpatuloy ang VAT sa langis (What happened yesterday was not a SONA but a hundred reasons why VAT on oil should continue),” he said.

Bakit naman na ang sentro ng buong programa ng Pangulo at ng gobyerno ay itong VAT sa langis, na decimal point lang sa buong budget ng gobyerno? (Why was VAT on oil the center of the President’s and the government’s whole program, while it’s only a decimal point of the whole budget?)” he added.
The Liberal Party President said the country’s leadership should do what is most appropriate to face the crisis its people face everyday. Unfortunately, he said the government is sticking to a solution that worked to solve a previous problem--the fiscal crisis--but is now an added burden to consumers and the transport sector.
Kung tayo ang namumuno, ang gobyerno ang magsasakripisyo at hindi ang mamamayan. Gobyerno ang magsisikap na ayusin ang koleksyon at alisin ang mga gastusing hindi kailangan, hindi sasakalin lalo ang naghihingalong mamamayan (If we’re in charge, the government would be the one to sacrifice and not the people. The government should be striving to make collections and spending efficiently, and not further choking our people),” he said.

The government must make a sacrifice by removing VAT on oil, improving collections of taxes and duties, and plugging the leaks in government spending. That’s the ‘tough decision’ that the government has yet to make,” he stressed.

Now, the situation is different. We should not close our eyes or refuse to listen to other opinions and continue taking a medicine that’s not appropriate anymore,” he added.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Industry also stressed that the P80-billion foregone revenue estimate of government if Oil VAT is removed is the result of “wrong arithmetic,” as this does not take into consideration the 45% of Oil VAT that can be recovered by the government from manufacturers after a few months.
The government could again collect VAT when people consume using the savings when we remove VAT on oil. So instead of continuing to squeeze our people dry so that the government will have money to give away, why don’t we just leave this VAT on oil in the hands or pockets of our people?” he said.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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