Use ‘tax windfall’ from inflation to help public: solon

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2023 05:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2023 11:45 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday urged economic managers to use windfall revenues from rising inflation to help consumers burdened by rising prices. 

Marikina Second District Rep. Stella Quimbo, one of the House's top resident economists, said the government actually earns from inflation as higher prices mean higher collection of value-added taxes. 

She said 1 percentage point increase in inflation yields an additional P30.4 billion pesos in revenues per year or about P2.53 billion pesos per month. 

“Applying this parameter, dahil nagtaas ng halos 5 percentage points ang inflation from the original 4 percent target, dapat nakalikom ang pamahalaan ng additional P11.9 billion mula sa VAT at iba pa sa buwan lamang ng January,” Quimbo said. 

She said additional revenues brought about by inflation must be used to help cushion the impact of high prices on the public.

“Magkano ang pwede natin gastusin para sa ayuda, sino ang makakatanggap, paano natin ito ibibigay, at kelan ito mabibigay," Quimbo said.


Lawmakers meanwhile said that aside from the vulnerable sectors, the middle class also needs help in dealing with inflation.

"I have an issue with targeting ayuda to the most vulnerable considering that inflation is everywhere. Paano nga yung middle class as you correctly pointed out?” Quimbo said.

"Tama po si Cong. Stella kanina na di lang yung mga vulnerable sector yung apektado ng inflation. Tama din yung sinabi kanina na even the middle class experienced na yung hirap ng inflation," said House Deputy Minority Leader/ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro.

Economic managers however said the government did not have enough funds. 

"Hindi naman po limitless ang government resources," said Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.


Both Quimbo and House Speaker Martin Romualdez urged the country's economic managers for solutions to inflation, offering potential legislation to ease the burden of Filipino consumers.

"We have actually asked the leadership, particularly the appropriations committee to conduct this oversight hearing to hear and to see how Congress and the economic managers can work together, pursuing our President’s whole of government approach to addressing problems of our economy," Romualdez said.

Quimbo meanwhile floated the idea of giving President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. additional powers to address rising food prices.

"Should Congress grant the Department of Agriculture or the President additional powers to enforce food price stabilization measures? If so, what are these?" Quimbo said.

Inflation surged to a new 14-year high of 8.7 percent in January this year amid rising food costs and higher electric and water rates, and housing rental costs.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said inflation may be even higher in February as it forecast a range of 8.5 to 9.3 percent.


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