By BEN BALCE
To help alleviate the crippling burden of high power costs, Representative Adriano A. Ebcas with three other representatives has proposed a measure that seeks to exempt the sale of electric power from Value-Added Tax.
“By lowering the cost of electricity, this bill hopes to spur additional investments, boosts the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises through lower operating costs and increases the purchasing power of a household,” said Ebcas.
He said though House Bill No. 3248, the amount of VAT foregone through the exemption will eventually be recovered by the state through the exemption of goods and services from this increased purchasing power.
The three other representatives that sought the passage of HB No. 3248 were Apec Partylist Rep. Sergio C. Dagooc, Philreca Rep. Presley C. de Jesus and Recoboda Rep. Godofredo N. Guya.
“This bill is all for the promotion of the welfare of all cooperatives, especially the 121 electric cooperatives of the country,” said Ebcas.
Before the enactment of Republic Act No. 9337, also known as the Expanded Value-Added Tax Law, the cost of electricity in the country was already one of the highest in Asia and the imposition of VAT on not only the power generation but also on the transmission and distribution services further increased the cost.
“The challenge is for the state to ensure affordable, reliable and accessible electricity at the heart of balancing price fluctuations,” Ebcas said adding that because of the increasing inflation rates especially as electricity, gas and fuels contributed greatly to inflation.