Thursday, October 20, 2005

NR1020:Govt using bribe for big business, creditors; will tolerate their abuse of the law

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release October 20, 2005

Gov’t sure to tolerate corporations, manufacturers’ abuse of EVAT law at the expense of consumers

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that with the looming implementation of the new expanded value tax, electricity firms will yet abuse the situation and impose even higher electricity rates – “increased rates on top of the other anomalous and questionable charges they pile on top of the basic rate,” he said. He slammed Meralco anew for announcing that consumers will have to pay an additional 60 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) once the EVAT law takes effect on Nov. 1.

Meralco is trying to justify the increase in rates by saying that the additional 60 centavos per kwh is only a "pass-through charge," meaning it will go to the government, not Meralco. “Who’s kidding whom here? Meralco and the Macapagal-Arroyo government are in cahoots in their campaign to rise electricity rates through the roof and extract more money from consumers. The Departments of energy, trade and industry and transportation and communication are all oriented towards helping corporations and manufacturers to impose the EVAT on the sale of their products and services and to fool the public into believing that there are benefits to the new tax.”

“The implementing rules and guidelines the illegitimate Macapagal-Arroyo administration regarding new charges and impact of the EVATon utilities will without doubt favor Meralco and allow it to jack their rates beyond what the EVAT allows. The same is the case with other big businesses and manufacturers – most of whom favor the EVAT because it will enable them to shave more from consumers and jack their prices and rates even higher.”

“The illegitimate Macapagal-Arroyo presidency is also using the EVAT to convince business groups to support her beleaguered and unstable presidency. The EVAT is something of a bribe Malacanang is offering big business and foreign creditors in exchange for their support,” he said.

Beltran said that the severe damage of the EVAT has already been felt as consumers even before the infamous law has been implemented. Already, he said, there are unscrupulous manufacturers that jack their prices and rates and give the EVAt as the reason behind the sudden increase.

“Transportation fares are also sure to skyrocket. According to reports, motorists, will pay P1 to P3 more per liter of petroleum and households will pay at least P3 more per kilo of cooking gas also because of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the EVAT’s legality.

Aside from higher power rates, the EVAT’s impact on petroleum prices will also be disastrous. Because of the EVAT, gasoline is expected to go up by about P3.40 per liter, regular gasoline by P2.85 and diesel by P1.17. Liquefied petroleum gas or cooking gas is expected to rise P3.21 per kilogram, he said. #


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