THE latest string of gasoline and diesel price increases has placed more relevance to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso’s proposed cuts in the excise taxes on petroleum products and electricity, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial candidate Carl Balita said in a recent media interview.
Balita made the assertion in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro Thursday after reporters asked him what legislation, if any, could be enacted to balance the call of tricycle drivers for a fare hike and the calls of commuters to hold off fare hikes amid the incessant rise in fuel prices.
“Maganda yung programa ni Yorme (Mayor Isko) na tatanggalin niya yung excise tax, kasi kontrolado naman ng gobyerno ang excise tax. Malulugi ang gobyerno, totoo yun, pero naibalik naman sa tao, at yung pera umiikot sa tao,” Balita said.
“Hindi kailangan ang batas na specific to a particular group kasi pwede naman na yung batas na yon, tanggalin mo lang yung tax, at gagawin ni Yorme, aba e pati koryente natin ay bababa. Pamasahe sa tricycle, pamasahe sa inter-island crafts, lahat bababa dahil lamang sa isang desisyon na tanggalin mo muna, magparaya muna ang pamahalaan para yung pera, umikot muna sa tao,” explained Balita.
Ever since Moreno started his “Listening Tour” in October last year, the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer has continuously vowed that if elected president, one of the first economic policies his government would introduce is to cut taxes on oil products and electricity by 50 percent as this will translate into immediate and tangible economic relief for ordinary Filipinos, particularly farmers, fishermen and public utility vehicle drivers and operators.
The 47-year-old presidential aspirant pointed out that the positive effects of the tax cut on fuel will be immediately felt by operators and drivers of PUVs who will now forego their demand for fare adjustment, which would be detrimental to the commuting public, mostly the poor and middle class.
Moreno said bringing down the cost of fuel would also bring down the cost of food production, especially rice, raise the income of farmers and fisherfolk, bring down the prices basic commodities and sustain food production.
In the same manner, Moreno said that a 50 percent tax cut on electricity would mean more food on the table and more money to spend on basic needs, including medicines.
“While the government may lose around P130 billion in revenues due to the proposed tax cuts, the same amount will immediately benefit the people in terms of savings – savings that would subsequently return to government as people spend more due to their stronger purchasing power,” said Moreno following a similar string of oil price increases which started in August last year.
Balita also echoed Moreno’s sentiments that the P130 billion would be better off in the hands of the people rather than ending in the pockets of unscrupulous politicians.
“Hanggat may corruption, hindi makikinabang yung mga nasa ibaba. So, ngayon imbes na may coruption, ibigay mo na lang sa tao yung pera at sila na yung gumastos,” said Balita.
Balita said Moreno’s brand of leadership and focus on uplifting the lives of ordinary people by primarily providing them with better access to quality housing, education and healthcare and better jobs and opportunities are consistent with his own Kalusugan, Karunungan at Kabuhayan advocacy.
The educator, nurse and businessman has vowed that if elected senator, he will introduce legislations aimed at providing security of tenure to barangay health workers and nurses at private health facilities; upgrading tech-voc and skills and development programs to benefit Filipino workers both here and abroad; raise the salaries of nurses and teachers; and promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), among others.
And Balita said that among the leading presidential aspirants, it is Moreno’s same visionary leadership and genuine love for the people that makes him a cut above the rest of the field.
“Si Isko Moreno ang pinakamagaling na lider na nakita natin sa gitna ng pandemya, hindi yung pinakamagaling sa future, gusto ko ang pag-usapan ngayon. Tignan niyo ang mga ginagawa ng mga tao ngayon para sa nasasakupan niya, si Isko Moreno yon,” said Balita.