Press Release
May 25, 2018


ILOILO CITY--As the public reels from increasing commodity prices, Sen. Grace Poe on Friday, May 25, recommended the suspension of excise taxes on fuel as part of the tax reform package.

This was the initial recommendation of the Senate committee on public services after it conducted a public hearing in Iloilo City on Friday, May 25, on the effects of Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law particularly on utilities and transportation.

"Hihilingin natin sa Department of Finance at sa ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na pag-aralang mabuti ang suspension ng excise taxes sa fuel dahil sa walang humpay na pagtaas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo," said Poe, committee chairperson.

During the hearing, senators were told that pump prices in Panay region have already increased by 30 percent or at least P10 for diesel and gasoline since December last year. The region already registered price upticks in rice (P5 per kilo), pork (P15 per kilo) and fish (P20 per kilo).

Farmers also have to fork in an additional P2,600 a month and a worker has to contend with additional P3,640 after the passage of the TRAIN Law, the Senate panel was told. Consumer groups in Panay have blamed the effects of TRAIN Law being aggravated by increasing fuel costs as the culprit of higher commodity prices.

"Bilang tulong sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa mga mahihirap, dapat na pag-aralan ng ahensya ang pagpapaliban sa full implementation ng TRAIN Law, partikular sa fuel excise taxes, dahil lahat ng produkto ay apektado nito," Poe stressed.

Poe said she will ask her colleagues to support the proposal for the fuel excise tax suspension.

Since the law's implementation in January this year, average price increase has been P8.07 per liter for gasoline, P8.95 for diesel and P9.15 per liter of kerosene.

Calls for fuel excise tax suspension snowballed as consumer prices rose 4.5 percent in April compared to a year ago, setting its fastest pace in over five years.

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