Isko Moreno to seek tax cut on electricity if he wins 2022 presidential race

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2021 09:35 PM

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagaso and Dr. Willie Ong file their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice president for the 2022 national election at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 4, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagaso and Dr. Willie Ong file their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice president for the 2022 national election at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 4, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Monday said he would seek to reduce taxes on electricity should he win the 2022 presidential race.

While the government cannot pull down the cost of generating electricity, it can reduce the taxes it collects from the power industry, Domagoso told reporters in a press conference.

“Kapag binawasan ko ang buwis ng kuryente, sino nawalan? Gobyerno. Pero sino kumita? Nakatipid ang tao,” he said.

(If I reduce the tax on power, who loses? The government. Who earns? The public gets to save more money.)

These savings may be used to buy more goods for the family, and in turn, increase productivity and job opportunities in the manufacturing sector, Domagoso said.

“Ikot ulit ang pera. Naramdaman mo ulit ang pera mo… Simplified solusyon, no complication,” he said.

(The money will circulate. You will feel you have more money… Simplified solution, no complication.)

“Nakinabang na yung utaw, yung regular na pamilya, nakinabang pa yung mga manufactuing company,” he said.

(The public, regular families will benefit from it, as well as manufacturing companies.)

Under the current policy, electricity rates in the Philippines are subject to 3 kinds of taxes: local franchise tax, value added tax, and tax recovery adjustment charge (TRAC).

Several power players and analysts earlier estimated that government dues make up about 10 percent of a household’s electricity bill.

Domagoso did not give a specific amount for his proposed tax cut on power, but noted that policies reducing utility rates in the Philippines would make the country more competitive against other Southeast Asia investment destinations.

“If that thing happens, then magiging competitive tayo sa buong region kasi bababa na ang presyo ng kuryente, babalik na ang manufacturing,” he said.

(If that happens, then we will be competitive in the entire region because prices of electricity will be reduced, and manufacturers will be enticed to return here.)

“If we have that kind of attitude and we are certain about our rules, then FDI (foreign direct investments) will increase… More FDI, more jobs,” he said.

Last week, Domagoso said he is also open to conducting joint oil exploration programs with China and other foreign players in contested waters off the Philippines to help bring down power prices in the country.

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A 2018 study from Australia-based think tank International Energy Consultants showed that the Philippines’ average electricity price is the second highest in Asia, only coming behind Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law an act creating an energy research institute in the Philippines to help the government craft more efficient energy-related policies.

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