Senate public-services committee supports call to suspend VAT on toll

Another legislator--backed by his committee in the Senate--has called for the suspension of government's implementation of collecting value-added tax on the use of toll roads.

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said it would be wise for President Benigno Aquino III's economic team to "reconsider its decision" to impose the 12-percent VAT on toll.

"Our expressways were built for the convenience of our motorists," Revilla said in a statement. "Hindi lang dapat convenient sila sa pagmamaneho; dapat convenient din sa bulsa nila ang pagdaan dito. Matapos magtiis sa grabeng trapik nang ginagawa ang mga ito, hindi naman dapat na sa halip na ginhawa ay pabigat ang idudulot nito sa ating mga motorista."

On September 20, Senators Manny Villar, Joker Arroyo and Ralph Recto filed Senate Resolution 602, which calls for the suspension of imposing VAT on the use of toll roads. The resolution also includes the deferment of plans to increase Light Railway Transit and Metro Rail Transit fares.

At the House of Representatives, Rep. Arthur Yap (3rd district, Bohol) and Rep. Homer Mercado (Party-list, 1-UTAK) have filed separate bills that call for the deferment of government's plan to slap value-added tax on expressway usage.

Sen. Franklin Drilon, on the other hand, supports the government's decision to collect VAT on toll to keep funds flowing for subsidies and other projects for the poor.

Click here to see the matrix of VAT-inclusive toll rates starting October 1

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