ICYMI: Proposed DOF tax reforms, illegal parking attendants in Manila City

Some troubling news this week
by TopGear.com.ph | May 28, 2022
PHOTO: Niky Tamayo, Shutterstock, LTO, Tarmac Linemarking

Prices of pickups, motorcycles, MVUC poised to increase under proposed DOF tax reforms

“We don’t want to cause panic here, but if you’re considering buying a pickup, you might want to think about pulling the trigger at your dealership sooner rather than later.

Top Gear Philippines was able to get hold of the Department of Finance’s (DOF) ‘fiscal consolidation and resource mobilization plan’ for the incoming administration, and it looks like pickup-truck and motorcycle buyers—as well as vehicle owners—stand to lose a lot if it pushes through.

“Under the agency’s proposal, the following measures will be implemented:

DOF proposed tax reforms

  1. A reform of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC)
  2. The repeal of excise tax exemption on pickups
  3. The imposition of excise taxes on motorcycles

“All of these changes are part of ‘Package 1’ under the proposal and are potentially set to kick in sometime in 2023. The DOF’s presentation says its Package 1 reforms ‘already have existing bills, or have already been sufficiently discussed in Congress.’

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“The agency also goes into detail on some of the proposed tax reforms. The DOF says that altering the MVUC can result in an extra P38.3 billion of income for the government every year.

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“Repealing the excise tax exemption for trucks, meanwhile, will net the next administration an additional P19.2 billion in annual income. In total, Package 1 of the DOF fiscal consolidation and resource mobilization plan is estimated to generate an average of P247.8 billion in income per year.

“By the way, all this is to help the incoming administration make up for debt incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s Build Build Build program, among other reasons.”

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MTPB warns about fees collected at illegal parking areas

“Picture this: You’re in the city and you decided to park your car in a seemingly safe spot on the side of the road. Someone then approaches you and asks you to pay for parking. Chances are, you’d pull out your wallet in a heartbeat and just pay the damn fees. As long as you got a legit parking spot, right?

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“If you’re in Manila City, though, be extra careful. In a recent road-clearing operation conducted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), a certain manong was caught collecting fees in illegal parking areas in the Santa Cruz district. Look:

“The man admitted to collecting P50 a day for each parked vehicle and said that the collections were remitted to someone from the Manila City Hall. However, the supposed parking attendant had no valid contract to present. As for the unlucky motorists who fell for this M.O., their vehicles got towed. We even got to see one in the clip above.

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“The MTPB is reminding motorists to be careful, as there are unauthorized parking attendants like this guy in the video running rampant in the city. ‘Ayon sa MTPB, may mga parking attendant na nangongolekta pa rin ng bayad sa daan kahit na hindi na pinahihintulutan ang pagparada,’ the post reads.”

The LTO needs your help fixing its fixer problem

“You know how a lot of us are always complaining about our fellow drivers’ lack of common sense behind the wheel? Well, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is asking you guys for help fixing this issue.

“As we’re all aware, LTO fixers are a bane of Philippine motoring. These dudes are a big reason so many unprepared and underserving drivers make it out on public roads. The LTO knows this, and is calling on the public to report fixers they come across online to the agency.

“Fixers aren’t very difficult to spot online. In fact, there are entire Facebook groups where LTO fixers can peddle their services to motorists looking to apply for or renew their driver’s license. Just look it up.”

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These glow-in-the-dark markings are part of a road safety program in Australia

“Has anyone here ever tried cycling or jogging in the dark? Here in Metro Manila, it can be a pretty nerve-wracking ordeal—not because of the fear you’ll run into a white lady or some other ghostly specter, but because if you can barely see ahead of you, neither can the car driving behind you.

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“In Australia, the government is rolling out a $245 million AUD (around P9 billion) road safety program to make Victoria’s roads safer for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Some of the projects that the budget covers include LED-lit pavement near intersections, as well as more reflective applications of road markings.

“The state of Victoria says another innovation it is looking to apply on local roads is photo-luminescent road lines to help give motorists “stronger definition coming up to intersections and curves.” This will allow drivers more time to react to what’s ahead of them, the state says.

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“One Victoria-based company, Tarmac Linemarking, recently took to social media to share a trial run of its own glow-in-the-dark road markings. The results are nothing short of impressive.

“As you can see from the images, road lines treated with the company’s photo-luminescent finish are incredibly visible even in a pitch-black environment. The firm says this kind of application would be “an outstanding product for pedestrians and bike lanes, roads, boat ramps, and many more applications.”

The España section of the NLEX Connector is progressing nicely

“Man, the infrastructure just keeps on coming. In a new update from the NLEX Corporation, the company said that the upcoming NLEX Connector is progressing just fine and is expected to open its first segment within the year.

“According to the NLEX Corporation, the 5km España section of the NLEX Connector is now 70% complete and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2022. This stretch of the project spans between its Caloocan and España interchanges.

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“Once the NLEX Connector project is finished, the new thoroughfare will serve as a lifeline for the logistics sector, providing commercial vehicles with a passage free from Metro Manila’s truck ban. It will also improve motorists’ accessibility to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and will cater to as many as 35,000 cars per day.

“In a separate update, the NLEX Corporation said that construction works for the NLEX C5 Link’s first two kilometers—which connects Mindanao Avenue to Quirino Highway—is expected to start within 2022. This project is an 11.5km expressway that aims to cut travel time from Mindanao Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue to a measly 10 minutes.

“And lastly, the third bridge of the Candaba Viaduct will commence construction works within the year, too. As a whole, the Candaba Viaduct project’s goal is to expand the existing structure’s three lanes and increase its maximum speed from 60kph to 80kph.”

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PHOTO: Niky Tamayo, Shutterstock, LTO, Tarmac Linemarking
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