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Low projected Dubai oil prices no reason to stick with excise taxes – Magdalo

/ 08:34 PM October 18, 2018

The downward trend of the Dubai crude oil’s price is not enough reason to stop suspending the additional excise taxes on oil products by 2019, the Magdalo party-list said on Thursday.

“Just three days after the Department of Finance (DOF) proclaimed the upcoming suspension of the excise tax hike in 2019, the agency released an announcement that the suspension may no longer be necessary due to the foreseen downward trend of the Dubai crude oil price for the remaining months of the year,” Magdalo said in its statement.

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“While it is projected that the price of oil may lower next year, this does not erase the need for urgent attention on the present conditions of Filipinos,” they said.

With the first tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, excise taxes for gasoline fuel went up from P4.35 to P7.00, and P2.50 for diesel and auto LPG.  Another set of additional excise tax on oil products will take effect starting 2019.

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Critics of the government said that the TRAIN law has contributed largely to the 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent inflation rates recorded in August and September — both nine-year high numbers.

Government officials, however, maintained that TRAIN law comprised only a small part of inflation numbers, and natural calamities are to blame for the high prices of goods.

READ: Inflation hits new 9-year high 

For Magdalo, the government should not further burden poor Filipinos by adding expenses amid high oil prices.

“Ang papataw ng excise tax sa mga produktong petrolyo ang isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo.  Habang totoo nga na nagtaas ang presyo ng langis sa pandaigdigang merkado, hindi na dapat dagdagan ng gobyerno ang pasanin ng mga mamamayan,” the group said.

“Ang kailangan ngayon ay maibalik ang presyo ng bilihin gaya ng bago pa maipatupad ang TRAIN Law at isa sa mga hakbang para dito ay ang tuluyang pag-alis ng excise tax sa mga produktong petrolyo.”

They also slammed the government for being indecisive in helping poor people.

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“Ang atras-abanteng pagdedesisyon ng pamahalaan ay nagpapakita ng kanilang indecisiveness at kakulangan sa pagsusuri sa mga polisiya na maaaring may masamang epekto sa mga mamamayan. Dapat ay pakinggan ng gobyerno ang hinaing ng mga mamamayan. Ang mainam na Christmas at New Year’s gift para sa mga Pilipino ay ang agarang pagbibigay-solusyon sa mga problema ng bansa gaya ng pagtaas ng bilihin,” it said.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have filed resolutions calling for the suspension of excise taxes.  According to President Rodrigo Duterte, he and his administration’s economic managers are studying the possibility.

READ: House urged to approve reso suspending excise taxes  

READ: Senators ask Duterte to support suspension of excise tax on fuel 

READ: Duterte eyes suspension of excise taxes on oil 

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TAGS: excise tax, House of Representative, Inflation, Magdalo party-list, Philippine news updates, Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, TRAIN Law
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