Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today said that the projected P26B windfall revenues from the VAT on oil for 2012 is “an unjust and oppressive burden on the people that has no place in a government that professes to be for the poor.”

At a forum titled “High Oil Orices: Seeking Solutions” held at the House of Representatives, Casiño accused the government of raking in billions of additional VAT on oil at the expense of the public interest. “Considering that there is a P1 billion additional VAT revenue for every $1 increase in Dubai crude, there is already a P4 billion VAT windfall for the first quarter of the year alone. Assuming that there is no huge change in the volume of consumption and the level of price for the rest of the year, we can say that the projected windfall VAT revenues for 2012 is P26 billion.”

Casiño based his estimates on the February 2012 Dubai crude average of $116/bbl (IMF commodity data) and using $90/bbl BESF 2012 programmed Dubai cost.

“Sobrang laki pala talaga ang nakukuha ng pamahalaan dito sa VAT kaya ayaw ibigay sa mamamayan,” said the progressive solon.

He said the rationale for imposing the VAT on oil seven years ago does not hold true anymore. “The VAT was increased to 12% and expanded to include oil, power and basic commodities in 2005 as a response to the fiscal crisis of 2004. Now seven years have passed and we are being told that the economy is doing good, gross international reserves are at historic levels and the public debt is well managed. Therefore there is no more basis for such a high VAT rate and immediate relief can be given to the people even on just the VAT on oil,” said the lawmaker.

He said seven years after increasing and expanding the VAT, it is time to give the public a break.

“The Aquino government should forego this gigantic windfall, which is gained in exchange for the suffering of the people. Consumers need immediate and concrete relief, and the president should listen. The estimated immediate reduction in the pump price of diesel if the VAT on oil is removed is almost P6 per liter; almost P7 per liter for gasoline; and as much as P110 per 11-kg tank for LPG.

“Again we demand that marathon hearings should be done to fast track House Bill 2719 to scrap the VAT from oil products and to fast track House Bill 4355 to again regulate the oil industry,” ended Casiño. #


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