Piston Cebu calls for suspension of excise tax on oil
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A transport group in Cebu wants the government to make adjustments on the excise tax on oil.
Gregory Perez, chapter coordinator of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston Cebu), expressed his sentiments on the continuous hike of fuel prices.
The latest price increase on gasoline is P2 per liter while the diesel is P2.50 per liter, effective on September 19.
This marks the 11th straight week of the price increase on fuel.
In a press statement of Piston Cebu on Monday, September 18, they said that the latest price hike would make the net increase this year to P17.50 per liter of gasoline, P13.60 per liter of diesel, and P9.94 per liter of kerosene.
“According to Perez, for drivers using an average of 30 liters per day, this will result in an additional fuel expense of P408.00 per day or P12,240 per month for diesel and P525.00 per day or P15,750.00 per month for gasoline. This means that the P6,500 fuel subsidy will only be subsidizing around 18 days or two and a half weeks compared to 11 weeks of successive oil price hikes,” Piston Cebu said.
PUJ drivers to spend more on gasoline stations
Perez said that the public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers would spend more money from their earnings to the gasoline stations at more or less P500.
“Kung ang driver, nakatigom siya og P800 o P700 (per day) dati, sa karon makuhaan na siya og P400 unya ang mahabilin na lang sa driver sa pagkakaron kay mga P300 o P200 kapin na lang,” he said in a news forum on Tuesday, September 19.
(If the driver can save P800 or P700 (per day) before, now P400 will be taken from those savings and what will be left for the driver for now is P300 or P200 plus.)
He said the drivers would spend P15,000 for fuel every month.
Suspend the excise tax
“Matag buwan, sobra P10,000 ang ginabayaran sa mga drayber alang sa 12 percent VAT ug Excise Tax sa lana. Mas dako pa ang gastos sa drayber alang sa buhis kaysa sa fuel subsidy nga ihatag sa gobyerno. Mao kini ang dugay na namong panawagan nga ang hinanaling solusyon sa oil price hike, mao ang pagwagtang sa mga buhis sa lana,” Perez said on Monday.
(Every month, more than P10,000 is being paid by the drivers for the 12 percent VAT and excise tax of fuel. What the driver will spend for the taxes is bigger than the fuel subsidy provided by the government. That is why we have long called for the swift solution of the oil price hike which is to remove the tax on oil.)
Moreover, he said that the government seemed to have not heard their demands in removing the value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax on oil.
Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, the excise tax on gasoline was P4.50 per liter.
Meanwhile, there were none for diesel, kerosene and liquified petroleum gas (LPG).
Based on the record from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the excise tax for gasoline is P10 per liter, diesel is P6 per liter, kerosene is P5 per liter, and for LPG is P3 per liter.
Perez also said that the P6,500 fuel subsidy set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was not be enough to the drivers.
“Ika-onse na nga semana nga nag sunod-sunod og saka ang presyo sa lana. Ang solusyon sa gobyerno kay ang paghatag og one-time P6,500 fuel subsidy para sa mga traditional PUJ drivers. Hangtud karon kay wala pa gyud kini matagamtam sa mga drivers ug gawas ani, grabe ka kuwang kini nga fuel subsidy. Dili gayud solusyon ang fuel subsidy,” Perez said.
(This is the 11th week of continuous increase in the price of fuel. The solution of the government is to give a one-time P6,500 fuel subsidy for the traditional PUJ drivers. Until now, the drivers had not yet fully felt this and aside from this, the fuel subsidy is really not enough. Subsidy is really not a solution.)
Based on the fuel subsidy program of DBM, traditional PUJ drivers and operators would receive P6,500.
Meanwhile, the modernized PUJ drivers and operators would receive P10,000.
The DBM has appropriated a P3 billion budget for the fuel subsidy program.
Piston Cebu said they still had not received updates on the fuel subsidy rollout in Cebu.
Oil deregulation law
Furthermore, Perez recalled the Oil Deregulation Law or the Republic Act 8479 which stripped the Department of Energy’s (DOE) power to intervene in the local oil market.
“Dati, regulation unta ang pagpadagan sa atong lana, naa gyuy gahom ang gobyerno (DOE) sa pagtakda kung pila gyud ang presyo sa lana. Sa pagkakaron dili na. Ang mga oil company na lang ang nagatakda kung kanus-a mopasaka, kanus-a mupaubos,” he said.
(Before, it was regulation that run our fuel, the government (DOE) had the power to set how much really is the price of fuel. But now, that is not the case. The oil companies are the ones who set the price, when to increase the prices and when to rollback the prices.)
He said that the government had become a “spokesperson” when oil companies would announce the fuel prices every week.
When asked if they should add an additional amount on jeepney fares, he said they would prefer to remove the excise tax per liter.
No petition for fare increase
He said that Piston did not have the petition for fare increase for now.
It is also not the solution in addressing the problem of the increase of oil prices according to him, and it would just add more burden on the passengers.
He recommended bringing back the P40 per liter price of oil, and removing the excise tax would be beneficial to the PUJ drivers.
Moreover, if the government would still not hear their demands, they would still look for a solution for the sake of the drivers.
“Ug dili gihapon gyud na matubag, mohimo gyud gihapon og lakang ang transport sector o mga driver kay dili man pwede nga nanginabuhi ta diha sa kalsada, diha nato tanan gikuha ang panginabuhi nato isip driver unya dili siya maghimo og mga lakang,” he stated.
(If they cannot still answer these problems, the transport sector would also make moves or the drivers because we can no longer have a livelihood in the streets, that is where we get all the things that we need as a driver then they will not make any moves.)
He said that if the government would hear their demands on cutting or removing the excise tax on oil, they would eventually decrease the minimum fare.
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