Lawmakers are eyeing amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, for electric cooperatives in the country to be exempted, not only from paying value-added tax on the distribution, supply, metering and systems loss, but also on the power generation aspect.
Rep. Crescente Paez, (Coop/Nattco Partylist) and vice chairman of the House Committee on Cooperatives, in his speech during the 33rd general assembly of the Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative 2 in San Jose, Negros Oriental recently, said millions of pesos can be saved annually in E-VAT.
Paez was instrumental in the exemption of electric cooperatives from paying the E-VAT, especially coops registered with the Cooperative Development Authority.
Records show that NORECO 2 paid P67 million to the government last year in EVAT alone, on power generation. Paez said this money would have gone a long way for other developmental projects of electric coops to reduce electricity cost.
He raised the idea of electric coops investing in power generation under the principle of private-public partnership, as provided for in the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, to do away with the additional tax burden.
He also suggested to Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo to consider a joint venture with the provincial government to address this concern.
Meanwhile, Paez said he suspected that there are mysteries as to why some cooperatives opted not to register with the CDA.
He said these coops may be hiding something and only their officials know the answers. He did not elaborate.
The solon said while NORECO 2 is already enjoying tax exemptions on distribution, metering, supply and systems loss, NORECO 1, covering Bindoy up to Canlaon City, north of Negros Oriental, is for non-registration with the CDA.
Having registered with the CDA, NORECO 2 saved P48 million last year in EVAT for distribution, supply, metering and systems loss.
Paez reiterated his call for the rest of the cooperatives to register with CDA to save millions of pesos in taxes.*JG
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