MAJOR Luzon tollways will be the recipients of the first round of tax increase set to be implemented by the Aquino administration on August 16.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares said the imposition of the 12 percent value added tax (VAT) would be implemented in North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the South Tagalog Arterial Road (Star) tollways.

Henares said they expect to raise at least P1 billion a month from the move, which should have been imposed in 2005.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) would come out with a new fare matrix to include the 12 percent VAT.

She added that they expect a strong opposition to the VAT which is normal whenever “you increase something.”

According to Henares, the people should just remember that the VAT should have been imposed as early as 2005 but was never implemented.

The BIR official also said the public should consider that the collection of the VAT would benefit more people.

Though implemented under the Aquino administration, Henares pointed out that this is not a new measure but merely an implementation of an existing one.

“This is an existing tax that should have been collected since 2005,” she said.

Henares said the imposition of the VAT on toll fees is proof of President Aquino’s “political will to do to do what is right no matter if it might not sound so politically palatable to some people”.

But during his presidential campaign, Aquino vowed not to impose new or increase tax rates.

In his speech before the Makati Business Club last January 21, Aquino said: "In addressing the looming fiscal crisis, good governance and the drive against corruption are critical components in our strategy. We will refrain from imposing new taxes or increasing tax rates". (JMR/Sunnex)