Bill seeking fuel tax rollback eyed to hurdle Senate in July: Aquino

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2018 07:53 AM

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MANILA - Senator Bam Aquino on Saturday said the bill that seeks to roll back excise taxes on fuel, should inflation breach the government's ceiling, might hurdle the Senate in July.

"July na ho 'yan. Feeling ko naman po 'pag mauna kami, baka sumunod po yan (House of Representatives)," Aquino told radio DZMM.

This as he reiterated his call to lawmakers to provide relief to the poor, who are reeling from higher consumer costs.

"Pag-ikot namin sa mga urban poor areas, rural poor areas, ang sinasabi po ng mga tao, 'Sir, nalulunod na kami sa presyo ng bilihin, sobrang taas at bigla bigla 'tong pagtaas na 'to.' So I think we need to show political will dito. Let's provide relief sa ating mga kababayan," he said.

Aquino said the Senate included a provision in its version of TRAIN that would roll back fuel taxes if consumer prices reach a certain amount, but it was removed when the measure was reconciled with the House version.

Under the current Tax Reform for Inclusion and Acceleration or TRAIN law, Aquino said higher duties on fuel could be suspended only when the price of Dubai crude breaches $80 per barrel.

With the current wording of the law, Aquino said a rollback would not take effect until January 1 of the year after the price ceiling is breached.

Aside from excise tax, Aquino said the government could also benefit from managing its under-spending and reforming agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs.

"At the end of the day, ginagawa po ba nila yung trabaho nila? Kasi for me mas magandang reporma ayusin natin 'yung Customs at BIR, imbis na taumbayan 'yung dagdagan natin ng presyo ng bilihin," he said.