Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan met today with at least 200 women who trooped to the House of Representatives expressing their support for legislators’ moves to remove the 12% VAT on oil and petroleum products. The women, mostly from nearby Quezon City and San Mateo barangays signed a petition to help speed up legislation to amend the RVAT law.
“Kailangan namin ng mga hakbang na makakapagbigay alwan sa paghihirap ng mga pamilya namin. Malaking tulong sa amin ang pagtatanggal ng VAT sa langis na agarang magpapababa ng presyo ng langis at bilihin. Hindi naming kailangan ng mga ga-mumong tariff cut at ng mga pampapogi natulad ng energy summit,” said Fhe Ramirez, a Gabriela leader from Bgy. Batasan. They vowed to bring the petition to their communities and come up with more signatures in the next few weeks.
“The P1 reduction in prices that oil companies promised to implement by February 1 as a result of the tariff cut can barely be felt by commuters and consumers after consecutive oil price hikes. Moreover, these price cuts can just as easily be withdrawn when oil companies eventually decide to arbitrarily jack up their prices,” said Maza explaining that oil price cuts were eventually voided by subsequent and higher increases.
Maza said independent think tank Ibon Foundation monitored the implementation of LPG price cuts seven times in 2007 while hiking up prices 15 times. Gasoline on the other hand increased 17 times while diesel increased 14 times.
Ilagan meanwhile criticized the energy summit, with Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes announcing that it does not intend to bring down oil prices, virtually backtracking on its objectives of coming up with a solution to the increasing oil prices in the world market.
The Gabriela solons reiterated the urgency of bringing down oil prices since women are the first to feel the crunch of the increase on oil prices and the consequent hike in the prices of goods and basic commodities and services. “Always, it is the women who have to find ways to make ends meet and sacrifice in order to augment the family income.”
Maza and Ilagan explained they have filed HB 3433 to repeal the RVAT and HB 3458 removing the 12% VAT on oil products. and are supporting several measures in Congress that seeks to amend the RVAT approved in 2005. They have likewise co-authored HB 1724 that seeks to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law. #