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LKI Press Statement 2021- 007
February 26, 2021
Safeguard duty is anti consumer
Isuzu Motors issued public advisory that due to the imposition of the provisional safeguard duty by the Philippine Government, they will be requiring additional customer deposit on top of the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) effective March 1, 2021. The additional deposit is 78,400 pesos plus Vat for Isuzu MU- X and 123,200 plus Vat for Isuzu D -Max .
The consumer group explained that safeguard duty is an indirect tax and the amount is tacked on to the purchase price of the vehicle and ultimately passed on to the buyer .
Vic Dimagiba , a consumer advocate , said that this is not reasonable and fair application of the safeguard measure law vis a vis consumer right of choice . The consumer is penalized with a higher purchase price of an imported vehicle.
It is good to buy local products since consumers can help save local jobs. On the other hand, the consumers who choose to buy imported vehicles also deserve to be protected since it is fundamental right of consumers to choose and decide which kind of vehicle to buy.
Dimagiba added that it is highly doubtful that traders, importers and manufacturers doubling as importers, will absorb for their own account the safeguard duty which is billed as a separate item from the price of the imported vehicle.
Dimagiba questioned how can the regulators monitor the effectiveness of the safeguard duty as a deterrent to imports under the present situation. Unless the car dealers absorb the safeguard duty or the law be amended to provide that at all times the safeguard duty should not be tacked on to the price of the imported goods, the safeguard measure law is conveniently circumvented to the prejudice of the consumers. The safeguard measure law “ penalizes the importers but not the consumers “.