Feature: Will EVAT forever stay?
by JMD Abangan
Davao City (13 August) -- The Congress Oversight Committee on Comprehensive Tax has yet to come up with its stand on the petitions regarding the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) but it seems weight would be given on retaining it.
"I am personally in favor of EVAT," said Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Arrel Olano who is one of the members of the Oversight Committee at the Lower House.
Guesting in the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, Olano said the Committee has tasked a study on how does increases in fuel prices have affected the national coffers.
In one of the Committee talks with Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Olano found out that there would be an overshoot in collection of VAT from fuel industries due to unprecedented hikes of fuel prices.
"Gumikan sa VAT dako ang surplus sa nasod," Olano said.
From this windfall, the government has taken funds in providing relief and subsidies to marginalized sectors and low-income workers in the form of fertilizer assistance and subsidies for electric bills, among others.
The business sector is not bent on agreeing to some critical sectors who are pressing to scrap EVAT.
For the businessmen, getting rid of it would dampen interests of investors to pour in money in the country while they are also looking at such move as detrimental to the plans of the government to further push development.
"On the other hand, alang sa ubang sector, dili pa panahon nga tanggalon ang VAT; madaut ang plano sa gobyerno," Olano said.
The claim of the poor on VAT as a "burden" to them, might be true or not, Olano said.
But based on initial research regarding VAT, Olano said only those who can afford to buy so much are bound to shoulder the most heavy VAT.
"Ang pobre, dili ra kaayo apektado because their purchasing power is low," he said. "Dakog mabayran nga VAT ang adunahan kay kusog man sila mamalit," he added.
Olano however found it hard to explain these facts especially in the Metropolitan Manila where almost everything is being bought and where a number of urban poor are living. (PIA) [top]