3,000% hike in excise tax on coal opposed

BACOLOD City – Power Watch Negros (PWQN) secretary general Wennie Sancho expressed opposition to the proposed 3,000 percent excise tax on coal which would affect power consumers.

Sancho said the proposed tax hike would very likely be introduced in 2018 and it would trigger an increase in the price of electricity.

Sancho also said it would also cause a domino effect on prices of basic goods and other services.

He pointed workers would also demand higher pay due to their “eroded” purchasing power.

“Whatever the [government] gets in lowering the income tax will be negated by the effect of the imposition of the excise tax,” Sancho stressed.

The Senate approved last week an amendment to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill which raised excise taxes per metric ton of coal.

Under the amendments, the excise tax on coal will be P100 per metric ton in 2018; P200 in 2019; and P300 in 2020.

Although some of the groups are opposing the tax amendments, environmental groups, meanwhile, lauded the proposal as it would force “coal oligarchs” to pay their dues or switch to green and renewable energy alternatives.

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