SENATOR Grace Poe urged Malacañang to consider temporarily suspending the collection of excise tax on gasoline and diesel to ease the burden of rising oil prices on jeepney drivers, delivery riders and those transporting farmers’ harvests to the market.
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law passed in 2017 imposed excise tax on petroleum products beginning 2018.
The excise tax on diesel started at P2.50 per liter in January 2018, increased to P4.50 in Jan. 1, 2019, and to P6 per liter in Jan. 1, 2020.
For gasoline, the excise tax was at P8 per liter in January 2018, went up to P9 in January 2019 and to P10 per liter in January 2020.
“Domestic oil prices have been increasing for eight consecutive weeks. The government can alleviate this heavy burden by suspending the collection of the excise tax for now,” Poe said.
Food and transportation account for a big chunk of spending by majority of Filipinos.
“Suspending the excise tax on fuel meantime will help stave off hunger, assist PUV drivers and delivery riders, and bring down the cost of transporting goods,” Poe said.
If we can lower the income taxes of companies that rake in millions in earnings, temporarily suspending the collection of excise taxes on fuel products should not be that difficult.
According to budget documents, excise tax collection from fuels and oils amounted to P42.7 billion in 2019 and was programmed to amount to P41.6 billion in 2020. It is projected to amount to P47.9 billion this year.
Income tax collection from companies and enterprises amounted to P586.16 billion in 2019 and was programmed at P329.89 billion in 2020. It is projected to amount to P304.83 billion this year.
Poe cited that the government had also lowered tariffs on pork and rice this year even if the farmers and hog raisers begged it not to because it will wipe out their livelihood.
“If the Department of Finance can move for the lowering of tariffs to bring down the price of pork and rice, it should also move for the suspension of excise tax on fuels in looking after the most vulnerable,” Poe said.