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Philippine Chamber of Commerce opposing proposal to raise taxes on coal

Coal News - Published on Wed, 06 Dec 2017

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Malaya reported that Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is opposing a proposal to raise taxes on coal saying this would lead to higher electricity cost that would further drag down the country’s competitiveness as an investment site. In a position paper, PCCI president Mr George Barcelon bucked the Senate version of the tax reform that raised the excise on coal from P10 per metric ton to P100 per metric tonne in 2018, P200 in 2019, and P300 in 2020 and succeeding years.

Mr Barcelon said that any policy that would increase the already uncompetitive power cost power cost should be avoided

Mr Barcelon said that “It is, therefore, imperative that any policy affecting the quality and costs of power supply should be approached with active awareness and purpose of enhancing the key elements of our economy and that the same shall promote sensitive inclusiveness. Power quality and costs are, indeed, among those critical elements that are always viewed with clinical valuation by foreign and local investors, especially with regards to heavy or so-called “bricks and mortars” type of production, which we need to focus on, too. Many have left some years ago due to high and unpredictable power costs and policies.”

The PCCI disagrees with justifications that say the resulting increase is not really as high as being projected by some sectors or that the increase is really too miniscule compared to other processes affecting increase in power cost or that, after all, the excise tax on coal has not been touched for some years.

Mr Barcelon said that “(This) narrative point(s) the issue away from the core premise that any increase in our already uncompetitive power cost should be avoided. In fact all other processes cited in the narratives that result in increase in our power cost should call for a close review with the same objective on the table.”

Mr Barcelon said the Philippines is already poorly situated in terms of power costs competitiveness, such that “it is important to give priority the prevention or avoidance of any cause that will increase the cost and diminish the quality of our power industry.“

Barcelon cited reports which say the average age of the country’s current power generation capacities is now in the range of 15 years or more so that the country will l need some 25,000 MW to 30,000 MW to be in place within the next 10 to 20 years.

Mr Barcelon said coal is still the best source to have reliable power supply.

Mr Barcelon added that “The replacements or upgrading should all be achieved resulting in reliable and competitive average costs to consumers and industries. Coal-fired power source, with its improving technology, is the best in achieving that average and reliable power supply."

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 06 Dec 2017
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