Duterte to study plan to push through with hike on oil excise tax
President Rodrigo Duterte will look into the recommendation of the government’s economic managers to push through with the scheduled increase in oil excise taxes next year, Malacañang said Friday.
The administration’s economic managers had initially called for the suspension of the second tranche of oil excise tax, which Duterte recently approved.
However, the economic team on Thursday backpedaled and pushed for the implementation of the increase as mandated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“We note the sentiments of the Filipino consumers and the President will certainly weigh-in the social costs involved. Due regard, however, must also be given to the dictates stipulated under the law, which only the Congress can modify,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“We advise the public to wait for the President’s decision in this regard. The President’s decision will, as always, be based on national interest and benefit to the people,” he added.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the decision was triggered by the drop in global oil prices.
He also noted that it will be ultimately up to the President to decide on the matter when the Cabinet meets on December 4.
Under the TRAIN law, fuel excise taxes increased by P2.5 per liter this year, and the levy is scheduled to rise by P2 and P1.5 per liter in 2019 and 2020, respectively, for a total P6 excise tax hike for three years.
The next increase in excise on fuel, scheduled for Jan. 1, 2019, will be suspended when the average Dubai crude price for three consecutive months before the next increase reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel, according to the tax reform law.
Calls for the suspension of excise tax on fuel products mount up as inflation hits a new nine-year high in September.
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