Business: Malampaya Natural Gas Take Could Make Up for VAT Abolition
The Malampaya natural gas income of government could make up for the abolition of the Value Added Tax (VAT), sourced by the government from the saleof the pump prices of various oil products, making it possible for the government to deduct the funds which are in the form of exercise taxes, from the cost of oil products such as gasoline, diesel and other products from processed oil, to bring down the price of the commodity, Bayan Muna partylist Congressman Neri Colmenares, told newsmen over the weekend in a press conference.
From out of the P115-B Malampaya natural gas fund money to make up for the VAT loss could be recovered. This is income from the production of natural gas in Malampaya in Palawan Province.
The fund, however, is covered by a presidential decree (PD) during the period, the Marcos regime was in power. The decree stipulates that this could only be dispensed by the Office of the President and thus, cannot be used for other purposes. This would now amount to a presidential pork barrel, even the largest pork barrel in the country, said the Bayan Muna congressman. Out of the P115-B fund, P21-B has already been used by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for who-knows-what. Because of the stipulation in the PD, the Malampaya Fund is very difficult to access, but which could be used in lieu of the VAT collected on oil products which government insist must be maintained, added Colmenares.
Various sectors have been insisting that the price of oil products could be brought down if the VAT on oil is reduced totally based on the tax imposed which is 12 percent.
The price of oil per liter could be reduced by as much as P10 of the processed oil per liter.
The fund is also not audited and that if so, this could be subjected to misuse.
This is the biggest presidential pork barrel which could result in political control of personalities and parties by government, said Colmenares.*