ILONGGOS including overseas Filipino workers (OFW) welcome Gov. Imee Marcos’ proposal to suspend the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT) on basic commodities.
VAT suspension will result in lower prices and thus give relief to families reeling from expensive products such as rice and other basic commodities.
Thirty-seven-year-old Mica Diel, an OFW from Dumangas, Iloilo currently working in Turkey, said it would be a big help to their families back home if the VAT on basic commodities is taken out.
“Every month ako nagapadala sa balay. Every time I call nanay and my sister, nagawangal sila pirmi kay kataas na gid sang presyo kuno sang mga balaklon sa Pilipinas,” said Mica.
Mica is hopeful that somehow the burden would be lessened if the proposal of Marcos is realized.
Another Ilongga OFW, 31-year-old Ann Sodusta who works in Singapore, echoed Mica’s sentiments.
According to Ann, because of higher prices, their family is now spending thousands more on their monthly food budget.
“It’s favorable to us. Being an OFW is not an easy job. Every centavo we send home counts. If the VAT is suspended, we’ll have big savings. It is a big help,” she said.
In proposing the suspension of the VAT, Marcos stressed that it would provide immediate relief to Filipino consumers.
“Given the magnitude of prevailing tax rates, the temporary suspension of the VAT on basic necessities would be immediately felt by millions of Filipino families,” Marcos said.
Just like Mica and Ann, it would be a relief also for Tatay Roberto of Jaro, Iloilo City if the VAT is suspended.
As a construction worker earning a minimum wage, the 40-year-old is really struggling to sustain the needs of his family of five – his four kids are still in school – with his meager income.
“Mayo gawa ina e kon madayon kay mabuhin-buhinan ang gastos,” he said.
Marcos, who is running for senator in next year’s midterm elections, noted how Ilocos and Davao regions were hardest hit by recent inflationary pressure.
“My province has one of the highest inflation levels in the country and my province-mates are really struggling to make ends meet. We need immediate and meaningful relief from the national government,” she said.
Basic food items such as rice, fish, meat, and vegetables have been major drivers of inflation this year, with the contribution of rice alone rising 10 times to 1 percentage point of the inflation rate, the Department of Finance reported.
Marcos said she was prompted to strongly advocate for the suspension of the VAT after she personally observed the adverse impact of high inflation to her constituents and other Filipinos in the countryside.
“It is really depressing that Filipinos living far from highly urbanized areas are suffering the brunt of inflation, which could have been readily addressed by immediately suspending the VAT for one year,” she lamented./PN