No need to hike transport fares due to Train
The newly implemented excise tax on diesel is no reason for transport fares to rise, at least for now, according to the Department of Energy.
“There is no immediate need for a fare hike on the basis of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law,” Assistant Energy Secretary Leonido Pulido III said in a press briefing yesterday.
Pulido said that, first, the Train law itself provided a mechanism that would mitigate the effect of the new tax regime on consumers, especially those who take public transportation.
“We are awaiting instructions based on the implementing rules of the TRAIN law,” Pulido said. “[Crafting the rules] is an interagency effort led by the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management.”
Second, Pulido said there were also the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs of oil companies such as giving discounts to drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
“To help mitigate the impact of the imposition of the new excise tax rates on the commuting public, the DOE also held talks with several oil companies to provide, renew or to expand their discount mechanisms to (PUV) drivers,” he said.
“In the following weeks, the DOE will be executing memorandums of agreement with several oil companies to formalize such CSR programs,” Pulido added.
For a third reason against an increase in transport fares, Pulido cited “the correlation of historical data” between fuel prices and fares between 2014 and 2016.
He said that during this period, the increase in oil prices did not have a significant impact on the prices of rice and transport fares.
“[Thus], the DOE believes that there would be a minimal impact on the public transportation sector,” Pulido said.
Further, he said the DOE’s vigilance in ensuring that oil firms implemented the TRAIN law “fairly and responsibly” saved consumers billions of pesos.
He said that since the DOE monitored the oil firm’s old stocks from 2017, which did not carry the new excise tax, consumers were able to save P2.65 billion related to gasoline and diesel and P58.4 million related to liquefied petroleum gas.
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