Henares says no stopping VAT on toll

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2011 06:27 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2011 02:27 AM

adds toll operators may absorb VAT

MANILA, Philippines - It's all systems go for the imposition of the 12% value-added tax (VAT) on toll roads by mid-August or early September, but there could be no hike in toll fees if operators decide to shoulder the tax, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

"Not even the President can stop the implementation of the VAT on toll," BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said.

The measure was approved by the Supreme Court last week, removing the last remaining hindrance to its implementation.

Henares said toll operators may decide to pass on the VAT to motorists or shoulder it as "people may not use tollways anymore if you raise the fees too much." She said another option is for operators to cover a portion of the tax and let motorists pay for the rest.

The BIR said it has yet to meet with the Toll Regulatory Board to thresh out the details so the target implementation of VAT would probably be in 15 to 30 days.

TRB spokesman Julius Corpuz said they will hold a separate meeting with tollway operators to discuss the matter. He said that in case toll operators decide to pass on the VAT, the board will have to publish the new rates first.

If the 12% VAT is passed on, private cars plying the North Luzon Expressway from Balintawak to Sta. Ines will be charged P218 from the current P195.

Fees for the South Luzon Expressway (from Alabang to Calamba) will increase to P96 from P86, Sublic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway to P272 from P243, Skyway (lower portion) to P119 from P106, and Skyway (elevated) to P165 from P147. - Report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News