LKI 2021-007 Press Statement – safeguard duty is anti consumer

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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 “.

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