Zarate

Solon renews call to suspend excise tax on fuel

January 19, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 102 views

BAYAN Muna Representative Isagani Zarate reiterated his call to the House leadership to include in its priority the proposed suspension of excise tax on fuel products.

For the last three weeks, prices of oil and petroleum products continue to rise due to various factors, including the surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Zarate was baffled why the House priority bill on suspending the oil excise tax in November last year was not mentioned in the priority measures for the resumption of Congress sessions.

In a statement released by the Speaker Lord Allan Velasco the key bills include the proposed Internet Transactions Act, Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises Act (Guide); the bills creating the Medical Reserve Corps, Philippine Virology Institute and Center for Disease Prevention and Control; hiring of mental health professionals in basic education; increasing social pension of indigent senior citizens; and strengthening data privacy protection.

“Bakit nawala sa priority ng Kongreso ang pagsuspende sa excise tax on oil samantalang tuloy-tuloy pa din ang big time oil price hikes? Sa katunayan mula pumasok ang taon ay nakaka-tatlong bigtime oil price hikes na ang mga oil companies,” Zarate said.

This week, prices of gasoline were up by P.90 per liter while diesel was adjusted to P1.80 per liter.

Zarate said excise tax on fuel products should be suspended six months in order to ease the burden of the consumers.

Actually, Zarate said, the original proposal is to completely scrap the excise tax on oil products from the TRAIN law, but, in the spirit of critical collaboration and to expedite the approval of the consolidated bill, they agreed for at least a six month suspension of the excise taxes on oil.

“We know that House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco was pushing for the measure to be passed in December but it did not happen. We hope that the House leadership can rally most of the House members to pass the measure this month and not be sidetracked or even bamboozled by Malacanang’s economic managers,” he said.

The suspension of the excise tax on oil products would be a welcome reprieve for struggling public transportation drivers and operators, farmers, fisherfolks and consumers from the still continuing oil price hikes.

The bill will effectively place most fuel prices to pre-TRAIN law levels, specifically for regular gasoline, diesel, LPG and kerosene, oil products mostly used by consumers. As proposed, the excise taxes for these products will be zero, except for regular and premium gasoline, for six months once the law becomes effective.