Repeal VAT on basic goods, services, not give VAT to tourists, says partylist rep

(Photo by Pixabay)
(Photo by Pixabay)

A PARTYLIST representative urged the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prioritize repeal the value added tax (VAT) on basic goods and services and excise taxes on fuel instead of providing VAT refunds to tourists.

House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro made the comment just after Marcos approved the implementation of VAT refund program for foreign tourists in 2024.

"While millions of Filipinos are suffering from high prices of basic goods and services, the Marcos administration prioritizes giving VAT refunds to foreign tourists. Prices of basic goods, especially food items soared due to the increasing prices of fuel products, our government continues to refuse to do anything about these soaring prices of basic goods which could start with repealing excise taxes and VAT on oil products," Castro said, in a statement.

"Inuna pa ang pagbibigay ng refund sa mga foreign tourists na kayang magbakasyon at magbayad ng VAT kaysa sa sarili nitong mamamayan na milyon-milyon na ang nagugutom, walang trabaho at naghihirap dahil sa taas ng mga bilihin at kakulangan sa disenteng pasweldo," Castro added.

(They prioritized giving refunds to foreign tourists for vacationers and to pay them VAT than their own constituents in which millions are currently hungry, no work and are suffering from low wages while tackling high prices of commodities)

"We in the Makabayan bloc filed several bills removing VAT on fuel and oil products, electricity system loss charges, tolls, water, all essential drugs and medicine, nutritional foods, and drinks. We also filed House Bill 568 Reversing Regressive and Anti-Poor taxation, repealing certain sections of RA 10963 or the Train Act. These should be the priority of the Marcos Jr. administration that would give great relief to millions of Filipinos," Castro said.

"The Marcos administration should prioritize the welfare of the Filipino people over foreign tourists. The Makabayan bloc also filed House Bill 258 or the Wealth tax, which can generate P469 billion which is more than what is collected from excise taxes and VAT from fuel products,” she added.

In a meeting with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) on Thursday, January 26, 2023, Marcos agreed to the former’s recommendation to provide a VAT refund program for foreign tourists as a way to boost the country’s tourism and increase economic activity. (JKV with PR)


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