Press Release
September 15, 2011

Exhaust all sources of revenues to plug price hikes in fees & fares

Sen. Ralph G. Recto yesterday said government should exhaust all possible sources of fresh revenues before turning its back on its promise not to impose new taxes and unleash a barrage of price adjustments in power, fees and fares.

"The last thing you want to do is raise taxes. Gawin muna nila ito bago mag-isip ng bagong buwis at fees," Recto, Senate ways and means chair and senior finance vice-chairman, said.

He said the government, through the National Power Corp (Napocor) and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), could defray the cost of raising power rates by charging it against the multi-billion Malampaya funds.

He said the fresh P25 billion collected yearly as share in the Malampaya gas project could be used to cover the cost of power rate hikes.

Recto said dividends remitted by government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and proceeds from privatization could likewise plug the need to raise fares in the Metro Rail Transit-Light Rail Transit (MRT-LRT) elevated rail systems and bankroll key infrastructure projects.

He said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) alone could deliver P11 billion in dividends while state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has P18 billion in retained earnings, which could be used to off-set increases in fees and charges of government agencies and the VAT on toll.

The senator earlier warned of a 'multiple whammies' if VAT is slapped on toll fees, while MRT-LRT fares, power rates and agency fees/charges are raised simultaneously as prices of consumer goods and fuel continue to rise and in the light of global economic downturn and growth downgrade of the country.

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