FORMER Speaker and Taguig City Representative Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated his call for suspending excise taxes on fuel and imposing a five-percent savings rate across all government agencies to make up for the resulting revenue shortfall.
This two-pronged approach aimed at addressing the country’s record-high inflation.
“Number one talaga dyan is that we have to suspend y’ung excise tax on fuel. Di ba kaya ayaw natin tanggalin y’ung excise tax, kasi kailangan natin y’ung pondo. But if you have five-percent savings, then the government will spend five percent less anyway,” Cayetano said.
The lawmaker said the focus right now should be on mitigating rising fuel prices to contain potential runaway inflation, which hit a six-month high of four percent in March.
He added that the problem is that the rising price of fuel causes a domino effect on all other commodities.
To enable the government to withstand the loss of revenue from suspending fuel excise taxes, Cayetano called for the imposition of a mandatory savings rate of five percent across all state agencies a move he said will free up P250 billion out of the P5.04-trillion national budget for 2022.
Cayetano explained that any attempt to address inflation through the suspension of taxes would provide insufficient relief to vulnerable sectors such as transportation and agriculture without some form of financial assistance.
“If it has to be a choice, I’d still get a 5-percent saving, and kahit hindi P10,000 y’ung ayuda, kahit less… Pero I’d make sure hindi tumataas y’ung bilihin,” the former Speaker said.
Cayetano and his allies in Congress filed House Bill No. 10832 or the Mandatory Savings Bill on March 31, 2022 which proposes a five percent mandatory savings to generate a projected amount of P250 billion “to fund assistance to our countrymen who are in dire need to recover from the adverse effects of the present pandemic.”
He had also previously urged Congress to adopt the 10K Ayuda Bill which would require the government to provide a minimum cash grant of P10,000 to every Filipino family to help them recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.