Monday Jul, 04 2022 08:41:30 PM

Senator appeals for removal of fuel taxes amid rising prices

Economic News • 20:15 PM Mon Jun 20, 2022
Wilnard Bacelonia

MANILA – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Monday sent his appeal to the incoming Marcos administration to identify and remove taxes and other fees in fuel transactions that can minimize the effects of surging prices of petroleum products.

Pimentel said removing the excise tax and other fees on fuel is an Executive action but he will file a bill to formalize his request.

"Wala tayong indigenous source sa item na ‘yan. So, huwag na natin pang dagdagan ang presyo niya (We have no indigenous source for that item. So, let's not add anymore to its price)," he said in an interview.

When asked about the revenues that the government will lose, Pimentel said the government should be open to belt-tightening measures.

"Alisin na yung mga tinatawag na vanity projects, ‘yung mga seminar na maraming ginagastos, ‘yung mga masasabi natin hindi na essential. I-review lahat sa budget (Remove what we call vanity projects, expensive seminars, the things that are unessential. Review everything in the budget)," he added.

Last week, reelected Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he supports additional fuel subsidies for the transport sector instead of removing the excise tax on oil products.

Gatchalian explained increasing the subsidies is more efficient and economical but should be distributed in a timely manner.

"One tranche will cost you about PHP4 billion to PHP5 billion as to removing the excise tax that will cost us roughly around PHP200 billion. So, it's more economical to give fuel subsidies provided they are given immediately," Gatchalian said.

However, if the oil crisis is prolonged, he is open to discussing the plan to suspend excise tax or if necessary, the value-added tax for fuel.

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