West Visayas govs seek cut or scrapping of taxes on oil


The governors made the call as Monday’s transport strike was declared a success in the provinces of Capiz, Aklan and Negros Occidental.

The strike in Iloilo was set to end midnight Tuesday.

Capiz Governor Victor Tanco called for the suspension of the expanded value added tax on petroleum products, a move he said would bring down the cost of fuel and give relief to the transport sector.

Governor Niel Tupas Sr. of Iloilo said he also favored the removal or suspension of the VAT on oil products because of the burden of high oil prices not only on the transport sector but also on consumers.

Antique Governor Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez, chair of the Regional Development Council in Western Visayas, said she favored a reduction, but not the removal, of the tax on oil products.

“The government also needs revenues so we should compromise,” she said.

Governor Isidro Zayco of Negros Occidental also backed the reduction of taxes to lower oil prices and expressed hope the government would reach an agreement with the transport groups.

“We are losing much because of transport strikes,” Perez said.

Tupas said Monday’s strike also affected businesses in Iloilo, the regional center, because few people were able to go to the city.

Zayco said the two-day strike in Negros Occidental significantly affected economic activity in the region because consumers could not go to shops and stores.

Most jeeps and buses and other public utility vehicles kept off the streets in Bacolod City Tuesday, the second day of the strike.

Absences were noted in government and private offices throughout the city.

Roberto Montelibano, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said the strike inconvenienced many people but business went on as usual.

In Aklan, drivers of jeepneys, tricycles and small buses stayed off their routes for the second day.

(PDI)

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