Marcos Jr says proposed deferment of fuel excise taxes needs deeper study

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2022 01:48 PM | Updated as of May 26 2022 03:23 PM

A gas station clerk receives a jeepney driver’s payment in coins at a station in Manila on March 15, 2022. Motorists and commuters continue to struggle as oil prices continue to skyrocket. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
A gas station clerk receives a jeepney driver’s payment in coins at a station in Manila on March 15, 2022. Motorists and commuters continue to struggle as oil prices continue to skyrocket. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr said Thursday that proposals to suspend fuel excise taxes amid rising prices should first go through a "cost-benefit" analysis.

"I think in terms of oil excise tax, I think we still have to look at it very well," Marcos said.

Several groups have been calling for the suspension of excise taxes on petroleum products as global crude oil prices surged due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier decided to keep the fuel excise taxes mandated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law despite calls for deferment, saying that the suspension of the measure could reduce government revenues by P105.9 billion.

Duterte instead approved cash subsidies for affected sectors such as transport drivers and farmers.

"If there is a commensurate return to somehow deferring the collection of excise tax, what would be the bearing?" he added.

He said the government needs to balance the interest of the people, especially the hardest-hit sectors, and the government's ability to generate revenues. 

"We have to study that. It’s a cost-benefit analysis. It’s not simple but that’s what we have to do," he added.

Local pump prices have been surging since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Rising fuel prices pushed up inflation to 4.9 percent in April, above the 2 to 4 percent target range. 

The government's inflation forecast for the year was also revised upwards to the range of 3.7 to 4.7 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier said it expected inflation to hit 5 percent in the coming months and to average 4.6 percent for 2022. It has raised the benchmark rate to 2.25 percent this month to temper inflation.

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