Marcos Jr. backs oil price stabilization fund, subsidies

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2022 09:24 PM

Amid another slew of oil price hikes in the Philippines, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. proposed putting up an oil price stabilization fund (OPSF) as a long-term solution to help consumers. 

Speaking at a meeting with barangay officials and workers in Parañaque City on Saturday, Marcos Jr. said he was not in favor of removing the excise tax on fuel imports as a means to lower oil prices, especially amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Instead, he said he supported providing oil subsidies but did not specify how much.

“Wala tayong masasabi, wala tayong magagawa kung nag-giyera ang Ruso, Ukraine, magtataasan ang presyo ng langis,” he said.

“‘Pag hindi na magbabayad ng excise tax, mawawalan ang gobyerno ng 117 bilyon bawat taon. Sa aking palagay ang ating dapat gawin, magkaroon tayo ng oil subsidy. ‘yong gobyerno nagbabayad ng bahagi ng presyo ng langis, mayrong OPSF, halos hindi maramdaman ng consumer ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis.“

Marcos Jr.’s running-mate Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier called on the government to suspend the excise tax as a form of subsidy for oil companies.

Marcos Jr. added he would revive the oil price stabilization fund if he wins as president.

The buffer fund would be contributed to by oil companies and used to shield local consumers from the effects of changes in global oil prices.

“Ang gagawin ng stabilization fund, imbes na bigla na pagtaas, kukunin natin—kukuha tayo sa pondong iyon at kung may pagtaas man na hindi natin mapigilan ay hindi bigla kung hindi dahan-dahan ang pag-akyat. Nang sa gayon makapag-adjust ang ating konsumer, makapag-adjust ang ating negosyo at hindi masyado masisira ang hanapbuhay, ang ating mga trabaho,” Marcos said. 

The Philippines had established an OPSF in the 1970s during the regime of Marcos Jr’s father Ferdinand Marcos amid the world oil crisis.

The government later had to partially subsidize the fund, 

The fund was later dissolved by the oil deregulation act, which progressive groups have long been pushing to repeal. #