DTI chief prefers House version of auto excise tax

By Richmond Mercurio

MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez prefers the House of Representatives-approved version of the proposed excise tax on cars over the Senate version, saying the former will likely have lesser impact on the local automotive industry.

“I’m for the House version on the cars because it will have a lower increase, especially to the car models to be produced under the CARS (Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy) program,” Lopez said.

Toyota and Mitsubishi are the two participating manufacturers for the CARS program where they have entered the Vios and Mirage models, respectively.

“If you’re asking us to choose, of course I’ll go to which will be more favorable to the concerned industry. For automotive, of course the House version is better. Lesser increase would mean higher volume projection. If the increase is too big, of course there will be a slowdown so our wish is something closer to the House version would be fine,” Lopez said.

“But what if the Senate version is the one passed? Of course we can live with that. But that means the implication of course is more expensive small cars or cars within P1 million will be a little more expensive than compared to the House version,” he added.

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