DEPUTY Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) should settle their differences soon and avoid letting it reach the level of Malacanang.

Olivar said the BIR and TRB should be able to decide at its level when it would proceed with the implementation of the 12 percent VAT on tolls.

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The BIR initially planned to impose the VAT on tolls by April 1.

“Only Malacanang can stop it kung hindi magkakasundo iyung dalawa. And even at the level of the Cabinet members kung hindi magkakasundo iyung dalawa… I find it difficult to believe because there’s no reason why these two agencies, kahit sa level ng agency heads mismo, cannot settle this. This will not rise to the level of Palace intervention and hopefully it will not reach to that point. There’s no reason to get to that point,” he added.

According to Olivar, if the BIR and TRB are sincere in their mandate to serve the public, they would settle the issue before Maundy Thursday.

The BIR is set to implement the 12 percent VAT on tolls on April 1, which the TRB refused to do citing it would violate the contractually-approved parametric formula stated in the Toll Operation Agreements (TOAs).

BIR hopes to raise P1.3 billion from the VAT on toll fees, which would be imposed on private vehicles, initially.

The revenue bureau is studying if they could also impose it on public utility vehicles.

At present, toll fees for vehicles passing through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) is P174 for Class 1 vehicles like cars; P435 for Class 2 vehicles like buses; and P522 for Class 3 vehicles like trucks.

Toll fees for vehicles passing through the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) is P22 for Class 1 vehicles; P43 for Class 2 vehicles; and P65 for Class 3 vehicles. (JMR/Sunnex)