Press Release
November 15, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara hailed as a "step in the right direction" the government's decision to suspend the increase in excise taxes on petroleum products amid soaring price of crude in the world market.

"We commend President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic managers for staying sensitive to the plight of our people and adjusting with the times. This is the right decision given the high price of oil worldwide," Angara said.

Budget Secretary Ben Diokno has announced on Wednesday that the President has approved the recommendation to suspend the increase in oil excise tax next year.

Last month, members of the Senate majority bloc wrote a letter to President Duterte asking for his support for the suspension of any further increase in oil excise tax.

Republic Act 10963 provides for a safeguard mechanism wherein the scheduled increase in excise taxes on petroleum products shall be suspended when the average Dubai crude oil price for three months prior to the next increase reaches or exceeds US$80 per barrel.

In the first week of October, Dubai crude oil prices have breached the threshold, reaching Us$84.41 per barrel.

"Pinupuri po natin ang Pangulo dahil hindi na niya hinintay matapos ang taon bago niya suspendihin ang susunod na pagtaas. Kasunod ito ng ating masidhing panawagan na personal na ipinaabot ng Senate majority sa Pangulo," Angara said.

Angara noted that this is not the first step the government has taken to address inflation.

Last September, President Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 13 removing non-tariff barriers and streamlining administrative procedures on the importation of basic agricultural commodities, in order to control price spikes of brice, chicken, pork, and fish.

Moreover, the Senate has passed on third and final reading the rice tariffication bill in a bid to bring down the prices of rice in the market, which is also a key driver of inflation.

"Filipinos pay twice as much for rice compared to other neighboring countries. With the passage of the rice tariffication bill, price of rice is expected to fall by P7 per kilo. Malaking tulong po ito para mapagaan ang mga pang-araw-araw na gastusin ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino," Angara said.

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