A former congressman believes that it is not timely for the government to impose additional excise taxes on petroleum products.
Former Quezon District Rep. Erin Tañada expressed his opposition to continue with the implementation of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, also known as Republic Act 10963, on 2019.
Implemented on January 2018, TRAIN law imposed a Php 2.50 per liter excise tax on petroleum and a Php 7.00 per liter excise tax on gasoline. The excise taxes was scheduled to increase by Php 2.00 on January 2019.
According to Tañada, the Philippine government should wait for the prices of primary goods to drop before increasing the excise taxes for gasoline and diesel by Php 2.00 per liter.
The former solon also warned that oil prices in the world market could once again rise if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decides to decrease their supply.
“Hindi pa timing na-impose yung additional excise taxes sa susunod na taon,” Tañada said during DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan.
“Huwag natin madaliin dahil sa ngayon hindi pa bumababa yung presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin natin. Totoo bumababa ang presyo ng langis pero hindi sumasabay yung mga presyo ng mga bilihin natin,” Tañada added.
Tañada added that the government should also monitor the prices of rice since it influences the inflation rate, which reached 6.4% in the third quarter of 2018, in the Philippines.
“Maraming kabit-kabit na problema na kailangan pag-aralan ng mabuti. Kung pabugso-bugso yung desisyon baka yung nangyari sa atin mula Abril hanggang Nobyembre, Disyembre, mapatuloy hanggang sa Enero,” Tañada explained.
Previously, the government announced that they will defer implementing the additional fuel excise taxes for 2019 due to the high inflation rate and the increasing prices of petroleum products in the world market.
However in November, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said that they will recommend pushing through with the implementation of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes at the start of 2019 following a series of oil price rollbacks.
Department of Finance Asec. Tony Lambino explained that oil prices in the world market has gone down from US$ 79 per barrel on October to US$ 68 per barrel on November. State economic managers also predict that oil prices will continue to drop until January 2019.