Angara to gov’t: Prioritize public transport improvement before increasing car, oil taxes

Image from Sonny Angara's Facebook account
  • Senator urged government to improve public transportation first before tax increase
  • He said improvements to help, encourage people to use public transits
  • Automakers’ group also expressed displeasure with “high, unreasonable” excise taxes

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Sonny Angara has called on the government to prioritize the improvement of the country’s public transportation system first before imposing increased taxes on cars and petrol products.

Following his committee’s hearings on the proposed tax reform package, Angara said improved public transportation would help and encourage people to start using public transits in favor of their private vehicles.

“I think raising the auto excise is a good strategy but the government should provide the public an efficient, dependable, safe and affordable public transport system to encourage the people to take mass transit rather than use their own cars,” he told GMA News.

The senator said that residents in Metro Manila would especially be benefited if the government quickly repairs and improves its railway transits.

“I am one with the goal of making public transport the preferred mode of travel. Pero sana madaliin din ang pag-ayos ng [they should also quickly fix the] MRT at LRT to help migrate the ones bringing cars to public transport,” he said.

For its part, a group of automakers told Angara of their group’s dissatisfaction with the proposed excise taxes on vehicles; saying it was “too high and unreasonable”.

“Campi (the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.) fully supports the initiative of government to raise revenues to build infrastructure. However, Campi does not support the version of DOF [the Department of Finance]. We feel the rates are too high and unreasonable,” Campi President Rommel Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez added that while they will support any increase in excise taxes, it should be done reasonably as too much will hurt the growth of the automotive industry.