ILOCOS Norte Governor Imee Marcos has called for the immediate one-year suspension of the Value Added Tax on basic food commodities, fuel and electricity to address the record-high inflation that has burdened Filipinos for several months now.
Marcos, who is running for senator in the 2019 midterm polls, said a combination of substitute measures can offset the expected revenue loss from her proposed VAT suspension.
“The temporary lifting of the VAT on basic commodities will provide urgent much-needed relief to Filipinos as inflation hit the hardest in the countryside. The poor Filipinos cannot wait for anti-inflation strategies that could take months to work. They need solutions now,” Marcos stressed.
“A combination of 10 percent improvement in income tax collection, higher absorptive capacity or much less agency underspending, and three other measures can generate P362 billion in revenues. That would replace the VAT that would be missed,” she said.
“I have confidence in the leadership and persuasive powers of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez over the BIR and other revenue agencies. I am not asking for the impossible. Having been a governor and congresswoman, I am very aware of what can be done as regards tax administration and collection,” said Marcos who also served as legislator for nine years in the House of Representatives representing Second District of Ilocos Norte from 1998 to 2007.
According to the Department of Finance, basic food items such as rice, fish, meat and vegetables have been major drivers of inflation this year, with the contribution of rice alone rising 10 times to 1 percentage point of the inflation rate.