May 14, 2018
Slow down Inflation, Consumer group says
Laban Konsyumer Inc. President and former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba spoke on behalf of consumers around the country, saying that ?the poor or the marginalized consumers suffer due to the direct and indirect impact of the TRAIN law, as they are the ones who feel the pangs of higher prices. The April 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority data shows that consumer price index for the bottom 30% income households in the country climbed to 5.3% in the 1st quarter versus 2.8% a year ago, and 3.5% a quarter ago.
The TRAIN law has had both direct and indirect impact on the cost of goods, with price hikes particularly felt by the poor. The government computed the direct effects of the tax reform law, as they say now that the suspension of the law may hurt the Build, Build, Build project of the country. However, the change in the tax reform law resulted in changes in the behavior of individuals. In fact, the government warned traders who commit profiteering and hoarding that they will be filed cases of economic sabotage. The high inflation in the past four months was also brought about by expectation of higher costs somewhere.
LKI further highlighted the Pulse Asia March 2018 survey on commodity prices that 98% of Filipino consumers says that goods or commodities they normally buy or spend became more expensive since January 2018 , and that food is most often cited by 92% of the consumers.
In its May 9, 2018 position paper submitted to the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, LKI proposed to suspend the excise taxes on fuel products, and that any price increment in the prices of petroleum products and electricity rates will be negated by the removal or suspension of the excise taxes on petroleum products including bunker fuel and coal. Dimagiba pointed out that when the Value Added Tax or VAT was expanded to 12% under Republic Act No. 9337, Congress introduced mitigating measures to ?socially sensitive products ? and removed excise taxes on lpg, kerosene, diesel, the 3 % franchise tax on power distribution utilities like Meralco, as well as for air carriers..
LKI continues to petition to nullify the recently enacted Republic Act (RA) No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, because of its negative effects on consumers and because of the grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction attended the passage of the TRAIN law
LKI is a new member of Consumers International, a membership organization for consumer groups around the world. Consumer International is composed of over 200 member organizations in more than 100 countries to empower and champion the rights of consumers everywhere. Dimagiba also acts as Chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) of the Philippines.
For any inquiries or concerns, you may reach LKI President Vic Dimagiba at 0917-812-5546 or visit www.labankonsyumer.com