The Philippine Congress will need to approve another legislation in order to revoke the current excise tax in petroleum products, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
According to Department of Finance Asec. Tony Lambino, the TRAIN law does not have provisions that will permit a ‘rollback’ of the current additional excise tax in fuel implemented this 2018.
Lambino explained that the law only allows for the suspension of further increases in the excise tax of fuel, if the average price of Dubai crude oil for three months reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel.
“Iyon yung nasa batas. Iyon yung pinasa ng Kongresso at pinirmahan ng Pangulo. Meron provision sa pag-suspend ng next increase. Pag-dating sa price increase, iyon this year pinataw, walang provision yung batas for that. It will have to be an act of Congress if ever,” Lambino said during DZRH’s One On One.
Based on Republic Act 10963, also known as the TRAIN law, excise tax will be placed on products like gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, and liquified petroleum gas and will increase until 2020.
Various groups, and lawmakers have called for the suspension of the TRAIN law, particularly on the excise tax covering petroleum products, due to its effects in the increasing cost of goods and services.
Sen. Paolo ‘Bam’ Aquino IV has reiterated his call to stop the implementation of the TRAIN after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the inflation rate has reached 5.2%.
Previously, Aquino filed Senate Bill 1978 that seeks to amend the TRAIN law so that the fuel excise tax will be suspended if it exceeds the predicted inflation rate.
Sen. Joel Villanueva also called for the lowering of the value-added tax (VAT) to 10%, and ‘to repeal the long list of unnecessary and inefficient VAT exemptions’.
Revenues from the TRAIN law will fund the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, the infrastructure project of the Duterte Administration.