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PIA Press Release

Negros Oriental businessman point out EVAT pros and cons

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (20 April) -- The country has recently received glowing economic forecasts from international finance agencies as a result of the “tough decisions” employed by the national government.

The International Monetary Fund in its recent forecast said that the Philippines’ economic growth would be “higher than average” among its neighboring countries.

The World Bank in its twice-a-year Philippine economic monitor report had predicted three consecutive years of economic growth, a first for the country and the region since 1970.

Malacañang attributes the flourish of fresh and favorable economic outlooks to the radical fiscal reforms that have been implemented in the country, most notable of which is the Expanded Value Added Tax (E-VAT) Law.

According to Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through the E-VAT Law the government raised important cash resources that were used to fund vital infrastructure, health and education projects without the need of external borrowing from financial institutions.

Good and bad

Local businessman Alex Sy, who heads the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce here, agrees with the forecasts, saying that E-VAT has played a large role in increasing the country’s income from tax collection.

He estimates the increase at about 12 percent.

Sy also credits the diminishing government debt to EVAT. “Makabayad naman ang Pilipinas sa utang tungod sa koleksyon sa EVAT,” he said.

He said that before, almost 70 percent of the government’s revenue goes to paying off the country’s debt.

However, Sy noted that if there’s a good side to EVAT, there is also a flip side to it.

He pointed out the downside of E-VAT which is its impact on the ordinary working Filipino. “Nagkamahal ang consumer goods, fuel and the other basic goods that we buy everyday and this have had a big effect on the consumers. The employees and hard-earning workers have been greatly affected,” he said.

Although Sy lauds the gains brought about by E-VAT, he hopes though that the government can think of another way to continue the pro’s that E-VAT has brought but minus the con’s.

He also suggested that the government trim down its expenditures. “The national and local governments can try cutting down more on its expenses. They can do it if they want to,” he added. (PIA) [top]

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