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PIA Press Release

Gov't embarks on massive info campaign on VAT

Manila (30 July) -- The government is embarking on a massive information campaign on the benefits derived from the implementation of the value added tax law or VAT, especially to pro-poor programs.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, in a statement, noted that the poor or the masa "who are the direct beneficiaries of the VAT law are either uninformed or being misled and manipulated."

"Otherwise, they who are the less burdened but are the beneficiaries would have welcomed President Arroyo's SONA," Dureza further said.

"There must be an effort to inform (the public) about the reforms the President continues to do," he added.

Dureza thus sees the urgent need to launch a massive information campaign on the VAT "which we will do" as he called on all the advocates of the masa "to join us."

"We are all in this at this time of crisis. The President issued an appeal to all political,religious, civil society, etc., and let's all heed it for the country's sake," Dureza said.

The President, in her 8th State-of-the -Nation Address delivered Monday at the Batasan Complex before the joint session of the 14th Congress, reiterated her stand on not scrapping the implementation of the VAT, specifically the 12 percent imposed on petroleum products.

The President stressed that VAT is important for the country to be able to cushion the impact of soaring oil and food prices especially to the poor.

The President said if the VAT on oil will be scrapped, only the rich will benefit as 84 percent of oil and 90 percent of power are consumed by the rich.

On the other hand, revenues collected from VAT is given back to the poor in the form of power subsidies, scholarships, livelihood loans, better healthcare services through the upgrading of primary hospitals to secondary healthcare facilities, among others.

"We started before SONA, we will continue even beyond SONA period," Dureza said of the information campaign. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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