Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Supreme Court
Originally uploaded by josephthaddeus.
The Supreme Court today lifted the temporary restraining order on the expanded value-added tax law paving the way for its implementation.

In its 9 page resolution, the Court said the law was constitutional and it has no power to stop it.

"So long as there is a public end ... the means through which such end shall be accomplished is for the legislature to choose so long as it is within constitutional bounds," the resolution said.

SC Spokesperon Atty. Ismael Khan said the justices barely changed their earlier positions on certain issues raised against the law.

"They (petitioners) failed to convince the justices. Those justices who dissented before simply re-affirmed their dissents," Khan said.

Among the issues were the deletion of the "no pass-on provision" in the bicameral conference committe report.

Petitioners argued that the bicam should not have deleted the provision claiming there was no conflict in the House and Senate versions.

But the Court defended the bicam by saying it had every right to settle differences in the version of the bill.

The Court also upheld the granting of provisional authority to the President to raise the vat rate from 10% to 12% in 2006 based on the recommendation of the finance secretary.

In R.A. 9337, the Finance secretary is given authority to determine factors such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and revenue collections.

Petitioners had contested the recommendatory powers of the finance secretary saying it is an "undue delegation of legislative powers."

But the Court dismissed the argument saying finance secretary will merely determine if the factors are present to raise the vat. He/she will not exercise discretionary powers.

BIR Commissioner Jose Mario Bunag meanwhile said, the government may start collecting additional taxes on November 1.

He will meet with Finance Secretary Margarito Tevez tomorrow to finalize their plan.

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