August 22, 2008 –
Members of GABRIELA gathered signatures for a petition demanding the repeal of the value-added tax (VAT) today in Quiapo, Manila.
The group said they would gather signatures nationwide and submit these to House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
Nere Guerero, GABRIELA spokesperson, said, “High prices remain the pervasive problem of Filipino families, with women primarily carrying the burden of the insufficiency of the family budget. Despite the lowering of oil prices, prices of goods and services remain high, thus, we must heighten the fight for the repeal of the VAT,” said.
According to the women’s group, removing the VAT levied on basic commodities would immediately lower prices and provide immediate relief to overburdened Filipino families.
The groups also deemed that the government’s Katas ng VAT program is ‘not only inadequate but deceptive.’
Guerero said, “The Department of Finance itself said that only P13 billion of the expected VAT revenues will go to social services as it expects to collect an estimated P100 billion more in VAT. Clearly, the Filipino public is being cheated; it is like paying P100 in exchange for something only worth P13.”
Guerero said they would hound Nograles to prioritize the repeal of VAT instead of charter change. Several bills for the repeal or amendment of laws on VAT have been filed at the 13th Congress, among which are House Bill 3433 for the repeal of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) and House Bill 3458 for the repeal of the reformed value-added tax (RVAT). (Posted by Bulatlat.com)