Lifting of oil tax bucked

June 24, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 72 views

A member of the House of Representatives said reallocation of the budget to fund financial assistance to the transport sector and others affected by the oil price hikes to those affected by a series of oil price hikes is better than suspending taxes on fuel.

In a statement, House Deputy Speaker and Davao City Rep. Isidro T. Ungab is pushing for the reallocation of some amount in the budget to finance transportation cash subsidy or Transpo Ayuda to public utility vehicle drivers and to others badly hit by the oil price surge such as in the farming and fisheries sectors.

“I agree with President Elect BBM’s directive of finding the most viable solution to this financial distress our kababayans are experiencing now, and at the same time, the government must ensure that this will not be to the detriment of our country’s economic stability,” Ungab said.

While several groups are calling for the suspension of the collection of excise tax and VAT, Ungab cautioned against the implementation of the same, for the government might be losing a huge amount of funding, which could be utilized to help the marginalized sector in times of crisis.

“The government may study the possibility of setting aside some projects and reallocating a portion of the budget, to be used as cash subsidies, or for Transpo Ayuda, for our kababayans to obtain some assistance during this crisis. We acknowledge that everyone is feeling the brunt of these oil price hikes, but the ones suffering the most are those in the transport, farming, and fisheries sectors,” Ungab, a former House Appropriations chair, pointed out.

Ungab’s proposal is in consonance with President-Elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s plan to give direct assistance or ayuda to help mitigate the impact of the continued oil price hikes.

According to Ungab, the option to suspend taxes should be on a case-to-case basis and that there is a need to study the proposal, or else the government might run out of funds causing a huge problem.

Ungab explained that the collections from these taxes have already been projected revenues in the budget, and thus already allotted to finance major projects and programs of the government.

If the government decides to suspend excise and VAT taxes, Ungab computed the estimated loss in revenue collection to be around P100 to P200 billion.

“I support 100 percent PBBM’s position to provide direct assistance or ayuda to those really affected by the rising oil prices than suspend the excise tax on fuel products. PBBM is right in saying that reducing fuel excise tax does not necessarily help those who are directly affected by the energy crisis,” Ungab said.

Ungab recently issued an economic alert warning, calling on all Filipinos to be prepared and to budget their income and expenses for the next months, as the country braces itself for turbulent economic times ahead.

He likewise aired his support for President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s plan to set a stimulus package in the 2023 national budget, which according to Ungab, shows the President-elect’s clear determination to rebuild our country’s economy.