Duterte on suspending fuel tax: 'Maybe'

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2018 08:56 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he may be open to suspending the excise tax on oil amid the soaring price of crude in the world market, which has contributed to the country’s quickening inflation.

When reporters asked if he was willing to make such move, Duterte said: “Maybe.”

Consumer prices rose 6.7 percent in September, slightly below forecasts, the Philippine Statistics Authority said, as government economic managers and analysts pointed to signs that inflation was easing.

The rise in consumer prices accelerated for the ninth straight month, from 6.4 percent in August. At 6.7 percent, September inflation was the fastest since February 2009.

The Palace has blamed the spike in the price of crude in the world market for the country’s quickening inflation.

Dubai crude, which is used by local oil firms to price their products, last week hit $82.89. 

A provision in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law says that the next tranche of excise tax increases may be suspended if Dubai crude averages $80 per barrel for 3 months.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the President could ask Congress to issue a joint resolution to suspend excise tax on petroleum products.