SEN. RECTO HITS VEHICLE REG. FEE INCREASE
The abolition of the Road Board should not tempt the administration to push through with its plan to raise motor vehicle registration fees, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.
"'The end' na ang Road Board. But raising car registration fees should not be its sequel. Hindi ito dapat ang next picture," Recto said.
Recto said proposals to increase the rates of what is officially called the Motor Vehicle User's Charge (MVUC) have been conveyed to the House and Senate by executive branch officials.
One proposal "indexes MVUC to inflation, meaning it will be raised based on the inflation rates through the years," Recto said.
"Medyo mabigat kasi kung adjusted to inflation, using 2004 as base year, 'yung bayad sa rehistro ng bantam car at SUV ay parehong tataas by 72 percent," Recto said.
"Mayroon naman isang pahiwatig na 50 percent ang increase. Mayroong 100 percent ang increase," he said.
These, however, have not moved through the legislative mill for lack of a determined push by the executive and a presidential certification that it is an urgent measure.
"Mabuti na 'yung masabi natin, kasi baka ang maging talking points ay binuwag na ang Road Board kaya pwede nang itaas ang singil sa rehistro ng mga sasakyang panglupa," he said.
As early as two years ago, Recto had warned of a "three strike package" being prepared by the new government against motor vehicle owners.
These, he said, were the additional excise tax on fuel, higher taxes on motor vehicles and adjusting the MVUC. The first two have been effected through the TRAIN Law.
"Baka pwede, huwag nang ituloy 'yung strike 3, 'yung sa MVUC. Kasi sapat na ang buwis sa gasolina bilang tax sa paggamit ng kalsada. There is already a toll fee in the gas tax. Kung limang kilometro kada litro ang itinatakbo ng sasakyan mo, sa 50 kilometrong ginapang mo, ang gas tax mo ay P144," he said.
Recto said government should now be content that P46.25 billion in MVUC collections can now be booked, rightfully, as tax, and they must be reflected as such in revenue reports.
"Kung parte na rin ng General Fund ang MVUC, lalaki ang source of funds ng national budget, at ang pondo ng DPWH. Kasi ngayon off-budget at earmarked revenues siya, at hindi fully transparent ang paggastos nito," Recto said.
"In fact, by putting this in the General Fund, there should be less pressure in increasing taxes," the senator added.
For 2019, government has projected to collect, through the Land Transportation Office, P13.93B in MVUC.