To show his commitment to alleviate the condition of the already “overtaxed” citizenry, Sen. Chiz Escudero has filed Senate Bill 2301 recently that seeks to exempt electricity sales from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) as per the amended National Internal Revenue Code.
Under the Escudero measure, the following transactions shall also be exempt from VAT: sale of electricity by generation, transmission and distribution companies and electric cooperatives; and services of franchise grantees of electric utilities.
“This bill seeks to address the high electricity cost by exempting electricity sale from VAT. By granting relief, the government can lower the operating costs of industries and businesses, temper inflation and increase disposable household income, while generating revenue windfall through increased economic activity and consumption,” he said.
The Escudero bill has passed the first reading and is now up for discussion before the Committee on Ways and Means.
At the same time, Escudero maintained that improving the collection efficiency should be the prioritized over plans to raise taxes to boost government coffers to ease the plight of the Filipino people amid soaring prices of basic and prime commodities.
“Naniniwala ako mula’t-mula na dapat tingnan muna ng pamahalaan kung paano gagawing mas efficient ang tax collection nito kesa magpataw na naman tayo ng mga panibagong buwis,” Escudero told journalists at Kapihan sa Senado on August 3.
Escudero mentioned the planned adjustment in Motor Vehicle Road Users’ Tax (MVRUT), which he categorically said won’t receive his backing.
“Ang road users’ tax, gusto nila pang dagdagan. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the law’s implementation. Pwede ba na bago natin dagdagan, magbigay muna sila ng imbentaryo? Saan ba napunta ‘yan, magkano ang nakolekta, saan ginastos?” the veteran legislator raised.
“Hindi pa ba sila kontento na mataas na nga ang presyo ng mga bilihin, tataasan pa nila ang buwis? Hindi man makatulong na pababain ang presyo ng mga bilihin, baka naman pwede huwag na nating dagdagan ang pasanin muna ni Juan dela Cruz,” he added.