Palace: Removal of VAT on power needs further study

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

MANILA -- Proposals to remove the 12-percent value added tax (VAT) on power would need thorough study, a Palace official said Thursday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing that VAT is a major source of revenue of the government.

"That's why it requires further study by the BIR (BUreau of Internal Revenue)," he said.

Some lawmakers have been proposing to slash the 12-percent VAT on electricity to lessen the burden to the public.

Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo in particular has been suggesting that removing VAT on power generation and distribution could be a way to reduce electricity rates.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier ordered the concerned agencies, such as the Department of Energy, to investigate the alleged abuse of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for the supposed increase on power rates in its franchised areas.

Coloma said that the President's order was to complete the probe as soon as possible.

"Patuloy po iyong pagtutok ng Pangulo sa isyung 'yan with a sense of urgency," he said.

Meanwhile, on the proposal to revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Coloma said that it was not part in the government's energy development plan.

"‘Yung tungkol sa Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, batid natin na ang primary consideration ng ating pamahalaan sa paglalagay niyan sa isang tabi ay ‘yung safety issue na hanggang sa ngayon naman ay hindi pa sapat o lubusang nareresolba, kaya hindi po ‘yan nilalagay sa agenda ng ating energy development plan," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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