Speaker puts foot down on Senate push for tax on coal
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House of Representatives would not allow the Senate to raise the coal tax from P10 per metric ton to P300 per metric ton in bicameral discussions on the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill.
“Hindi po namin papayagan iyan, definitely hindi,” he said in a radio interview.
Alvarez said the proposal would directly hit consumers with skyrocketing electric bills.
“Let us look at this objectively, from the point of view of the consumers. Dahil pagka-halimbawa pinatawan mo nang additional taxes itong coal power plant, iyong industry players maaaring hindi magrereklamo iyan kasi ipa-pass on lang po iyan doon sa consumers,” he said.
Alvarez said he was shocked by the Senate’s proposed amendment to the TRAIN bill, considering he had been in talks with Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi about how to lower power rates.
“In fact, nagulat nga ako dahil for several months na, nag-uusap kami ni Secretary Al Cusi, at pinag-uusapan namin kung paano natin mapapababa yung charges ng kuryente. Tapos eto ngayon, maglalabas tayo ng measure kung saan lalo pang tumaas… nabuang na gani…” he said.