Bawas VATAkbayan protested against the price hike of basic commodities as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a 4% inflation rate with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law taking into effect.

Akbayan party members trooped to Q Mart to lament the rise of prices on basic goods with jacked-up taxes on diesel and petroleum and a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on consumers.

“Ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin dahil sa TRAIN at ang pagpataw ng 12% VAT ay deadly combination para sa aming mga ordinaryong mamimili. Kami po ang kawawa sa dagdag presyo sa merkado dahil mas maliit na lang ang naiuuwi namin,”  Esmeralda Mendoza of Akbayan said.

Mendoza warned that the price of goods such as chicken has risen to Php 10 and that more products will be inaccessible to the poor with the price hike due to excise taxes on petroleum and diesel. 

“Ang gusto po namin ay mabawasan ang VAT o ang buwis na pinapataw sa amin na mga mamimili,” Esmeralda Mendoza said. “Kung bumaba ang VAT, mas marami nang maabutan ang badyet namin.”

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros last week filed SB 1671 or Bawas VAT Bill which seeks to reduce VAT rates from 12% to 10%. Hontiveros also urged the Department of Finance (DoF) to maintain VAT exemptions for persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens and other vulnerable sectors.

““Nananawagan kami sa Kongreso na ipasa na ang Bawas VAT bill, kasama ng pagpasa ng Security of Tenure para lalong patas ang laban para sa aming mga mahihirap.” Mendoza said ###