Minority senators ask Duterte to suspend excise tax on fuel

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2018 05:34 PM

MANILA - Opposition senators Kiko Pangilinan and Bam Aquino on Wednesday filed a resolution asking President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the implementation of the excise tax on fuel.

This, after 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 rising inflation rate.  

Aquino said Joint Resolution No. 15 “will show what the Senate feels about this measure.”

Aquino insisted that there is a necessity for both the legislature and executive to agree on this position to aid the people specifically on the ill effects of inflation brought about by expensive fuel.

A joint resolution needs a counterpart House resolution. When adopted, the resolution is treated like a law, according to Aquino.

The Senate resolution needs at least 13 signatures in the upper chamber to pass.

A suspension of the excise tax, according to Aquino, would mean a P2 price reduction per liter of gasoline and diesel and P1 decrease in price of kerosene.

Although the excise tax on fuel only accounts for a 0.4 percent increase, the stronger effect is on the “indirect impact” on fuel, Aquino said.

“Kapag ang isang magsasaka may kailangan siyang fertilizer na noon P800, ngayon ay P1,200 na. Yan ang indirect effect ng pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo. Yung pagtaas ng presyo ng karne at isda, may indirect effect din yan,” Aquino explained.

(When a farmer needs fertilizer, it was P800 before, now it's P1,200. That is the indirect effect of the increasing price of crude. The rising prices of meat and fish also has an indirect effect.)

Senate President Tito Sotto, in a separate interview, said Duterte can also suspend the excise tax on fuel even without a joint Senate resolution.

He clarified that he is not against the resolution.

“I will review; I will probably look into it because I know for a fact that they are contemplating on suspending the incoming raise in excise tax,” Sotto told reporters.