Gatchalian: Probe effects of suspension of TRAIN on fuel
Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking a probe on the possible effects of suspending the fuel excise tax under the Train Law to ease inflation.
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, filed Senate Resolution No. 917 seeking an inquiry after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was willing to suspend the excise tax on fuel set for 2019.
“Despite government efforts to mitigate the inflationary effects of the TRAIN Law, prices of goods and services in the country continued to soar in September 2018 with the inflation rate recorded at 6.7% – the highest registered inflation in the last nine years and bringing the year-to-date inflation rate to 5.0%,” Gatchalian said in the resolution.
According to the senator, the following sources would continue to affect the inflation rate in the country: higher global oil prices; minimum wage hikes granted starting October; higher airline fares due to fuel surcharge; additional fare hike petitions by transport groups, weather disruptions happening in the fourth quarter of the year, and the weakening of the peso.
Citing data from the Department of Energy, Gatchalian noted that as of September 25, fuel prices had increased by P9.40 per liter for gasoline and P9.35 per liter for diesel.
He also stressed the importance of the investigation in order to “ventilate the issues related to the effective implementation” that surrounds the TRAIN Law, that affects the poor.
According to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations, 52 percent or 12.2 million Filipino families considered themselves poor, a four-point increase from the 48 percent recorded last June.
It was also the highest recorded self-rated poverty by the polling body since December 2014 which reported a similar 52 percent. /cbb
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