Citing provisions of the 1987 Constitution on equitable and progressive taxation, a petition against the imposition of the VAT on tolls was submitted today before the Supreme Court, supporting an earlier motion for reconsideration.
Sammy Malunes, spokesperson of the Taxpayers’ Unity vs. Toll Fee Hike in the South Luzon Expressway or Tutol-SLEX, filed a petition for intervention before the SC, in support of a motion for reconsideration questioning the VAT on toll on the basis of the “double taxation” argument.
Elivira Y. Medina, President of the National Council for Commuters Protection also joined the petition.
The motion for reconsideration was submitted last July by former Nueva Ecija Rep. Renato Diaz and former Department of Trade and Industry assistant secretary Aurora Ma. Timbol.
“Imposing the VAT on tolls runs counter to the spirit of the 1987 Constitution. The Supreme Court, we believe, should stand on the side of the Constitution and the general public on this issue,” Malunes said.
“Our petition is on solid grounds. It is plain to see that the VAT on tolls is a form of regressive taxation – which will severely hurt those who are less affluent,” he added.
In his petition, Malunes cited Article VI, Section 28 of the Constitution which says that “The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation.”
Saying that it is the general public which will ultimately bear the burden of the VAT on tolls, the petition argued that the tax measure runs counter to the Constitution, which says that the burden of taxation should be on those who are better able to pay, not on the general public.
“Regressive taxes like the VAT on toll will only worsen the poverty and suffering of our kababayans. The VAT on tolls will make the burden of a lack of a significant wage hike and soaring prices of basic commodities and services even heavier,” Malunes said.
“It goes without saying that our petition before the Supreme Court is only an addition to, and will not replace, the various forms of protests that we are launching against the VAT on toll. We should in fact intensify our protests against the said tax measure,” he said. Sammy Malunes, Spokesperson, TUTOL-SLEX