Garin Renews Call for Suspension of Excise Tax on Fuel. In a statement released by AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Representative and House Committee on Economic Affairs Chairperson Sharon Garin, she contended that despite the price rollbacks these last two weeks, the prices of oil since the year started is nowhere near the pre-2022 level.
“I am reiterating my call for the suspension of the excise tax on fuel to help many industries which are highly vulnerable and is just starting to recover due to the Pandemic. They are still hurting due to the high cost of fuel despite recent price rollbacks.”
“The net year-to-date price hike is still P15 per liter for gasoline, P25.65 per liter for diesel and P21.10 per liter for kerosene. Plus, we must be vigilant for upcoming oil price hikes because global oil prices only went down after International Agency Energy members and the United States agreed to tap almost 240 million barrels of their oil reserves. The supply of oil is still being driven by the Russia-Ukraine crisis and soon, we might be facing shortages and skyrocketing fuel prices again.”
“For example, while we have had some programs such the Fuel subsidy for qualified Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers, we lacked any form of support for private car owners which makes up a big chunk of local tourists. For example, Holy Week is historically a peak period for domestic travel in the Philippines and we had so many local travellers. The easing of travel requirements has led to great feedbacks for local tourism as more Filipinos took advantage and travelled home to their provinces or visiting tourist destinations and beaches in the country.”
“Actually, the suspension of excise tax on fuel will not only benefit private car owners and PUV drivers but will translate to benefits for other industries which are highly reliant on fuel and transportation such as the agriculture and tourism industry.”
The current excise tax rate is P10 per liter for gasoline, P6 per liter for diesel, P5 per liter for kerosene, and P3 per liter for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Meanwhile, unconditional cash transfers amounting to P33 billion has been approved to help curb the effects for the most vulnerable sectors. An estimated 74.7 million Filipinos or each qualified household would receive P200 a month or a total of P2,400 as aid. Related: Sharon Garin on Oil Price Hike: “We must act now, or all of us will be affected”
“However, we should also look at the big picture. It is not a single sector which is affected. There are other industries that rely heavily on transportation and the restrictive costs of oil products will surely lead to price hikes in other industries. The sure effect will be the rising costs of electricity and other necessities especially food products. Cash aid might not be enough when the prices of other necessities are affected by the oil price hikes.”
“We still have a few weeks until the May 2022 elections. I am hopeful we can still hold a special session to address this issue and hopefully, Congress can fast track the measures that seek to suspend the excise tax on oil. I am estimating that at least P6 per liter would be removed from current retail prices if the excise tax on oil is suspended.”