“They’re barking at the wrong tree.”
This is the reaction of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia on the appeal of various sectors to suspend the excise tax on petroleum products included in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
According to Pernia, it is wrong to blame TRAIN law for the continuous increase in the price of primary goods.
The secretary for socioeconomic planning insisted that the price hikes are caused by the increase in the world price of oil, the depreciation of the peso in the world market, and the expensiveness of rice.
Pernia added that the new tax reform law only contribute 0.4% of the price increases felt by the public.
“Pinakamaliit iyon. Kung wala sanang malaking pag-taas ng presyo ng langis sa daigdigan at saka yung depreciation ng peso at saka yung pag-taas ng presyo ng bigas, hindi iyon mararamdaman sana.” Pernia said during DZRH’s One On One.
Pernia also admitted that they will not recommend that President Rodrigo Duterte lift or suspend the excise tax on petroleum products, since it will require a new law and will not solve the problem.
The Cabinet official doubts if Congress can pass a law before their ‘sine die adjournment’ on June 2.
“Hindi ganun kadali.” Pernia said.
“Wala ng panahon kasi kailangan na ng bagong batas. Kung gagawa pa ng bagong batas pang-suspend ng TRAIN law, wala na mag-reccess na ang Kongresso.” Pernia added.
The Department of Finance (DOF) has already declared that they have no plans to suspend the implementation of the TRAIN law even with calls from the lawmakers, and various groups.
The DOF insists that a new legislation will be needed to stop the TRAIN law and not an Executive Order from the President.
Last December, Duterte signed the TRAIN law that took effect on January and placed excise tax on various goods including petroleum, cigarettes, sugary drinks, and vehicles.
The legislation also raised the exemption for personal income tax to Php 25,000.