Gov't urged to accelerate support for PUV drivers, consumers as fuel prices soar


Posted at Oct 26 2021 11:29 AM | Updated as of Oct 26 2021 11:37 AM

MANILA— The government should accelerate measures to cushion the impact of rising oil prices on consumers, Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba said Tuesday.

"Very disappointing that up to now we haven’t heard from the government specific action plan to assist all of us consumers affected by this oil price hike," Dimagiba told ANC.

Dimagiba said the government should stop giving "motherhood statements" but rather come up with actionable planned interventions such as expediting the release of the P1-billion cash grant from the Department of Budget and Management.

The DBM earlier said it would release P1 billion to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to fund fuel subsidies for PUV drivers until the end of the year.

"Sana bilisan na ng gobyerno (The government should speed it up), Dimagiba said.

On the proposal to suspend excise taxes on fuel, Dimagiba said the benefit to consumers outweighs possible revenue loss by the state, estimated at P131 billion by the Department of Finance.

The group is seeking just 15 days of excise tax suspension to see if Dubai crude oil prices would stabilize, he said.

Aside from band-aid solutions, the government should look into implementing long-term measures to protect consumers including the review of existing tax laws, he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation on Tuesday said it is seeking approval to raise the cap in public transport capacities to boost revenues of PUV drivers.

Laban Konsyumer, Energy officials as well as several lawmakers are pushing for the suspension of excise tax on fuel products as oil prices continue to spike.

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