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POE: SUSPEND OIL EXCISE TAX, CUSHION PRICE SURGES

Senator Grace Poe is set to refile her bill seeking to temporarily halt the collection of excise tax on oil products to cushion the blow of the price surges on the Filipino people.

Poe’s bill proposes to amend Section 148 of the National Internal Revenue Code to provide for the automatic suspension of the excise tax on regular gasoline, unleaded premium gasoline and diesel when the average Dubai crude oil based on Mean of Platts Singapore for three months prior to the scheduled increase of the month reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel.

The veteran legislator said suspending oil excise taxes will bring instant relief to the public as it will lower the prices of fuel products, resulting in the reduction of costs of goods and services.

“To our people in daily survival mode, the oil tax reprieve will provide a crucial lifeline,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.

“The revenues the government will generate from the excise tax to fund cash aid might come too late for families who have nothing to eat now.”

“The revenues the government will generate from the excise tax to fund cash aid might come too late for families who have nothing to eat now,” the lady senator stressed. “As the saying points out, ‘Aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo’.”

She said the bill will be among the pieces of legislation that she will file when the 19th Congress convenes in July.

Local taxes add substantial costs to the already high prices of fuel in the world market.

Pursuant to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the excise tax on regular and unleaded premium gasoline is currently set at P10 per liter of volume capacity. The excise tax on diesel is pegged at P6 per liter. A value-added tax of 12 percent is also imposed on the sale of gasoline and diesel.

The suspension of the excise tax will immediately bring down costs by P10 per liter for gasoline and P6 per liter for diesel.

The authority granted under the TRAIN law to suspend the collection of excise tax was transitory and covered only the years 2018 to 2020.

“If the government is willing to spend billions in cash assistance to targeted beneficiaries, then it should also be ready to forgo a portion of its revenues during the most critical times in order to save millions of lives,” Poe emphasized.

“We hope that this call on excise tax suspension, which is becoming louder by the day, will merit serious consideration from the incoming administration.”

“We hope that this call on excise tax suspension, which is becoming louder by the day, will merit serious consideration from the incoming administration,” she stressed.

To help ease the impact of oil prices, Poe earlier urged government agencies to effectively implement a Civil Service Commission resolution allowing a flexible work arrangement for government employees without sacrificing prompt and quality public service.

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