Palace backs move to proceed with next fuel excise tax hike in 2019
Malacañang said Monday it supports the decision of the country’s economic managers to proceed with the second tranche of fuel excise tax increase next year.
The economic managers last week backpedaled from their earlier recommendation for a suspension of the fuel excise hike by January 2019 amid rising inflation. The scheduled next round of fuel excise tax increase is mandated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“Well I’m sure the economic managers have basis to make that recommendation. They are competent and able to explain themselves to the lawmakers,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.
In a joint statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Economic Secretary Ernesto Pernia recommended the continuation of the next round of oil tax increase in 2019, citing the drop in world crude prices.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate economic affairs panel, has said the Senate could take extreme measures to compel the executive branch to suspend the looming P2-per-liter increase in excise on oil products next year.
Gatchalian warned that the passage of the 2019 budget may be delayed if the economic managers push through with their plan to proceed with the next round of oil tax increase.
While Panelo acknowledged the “passage of the budget would again depend on the call of members of Congress,” he noted that Gatchalian is only one of the 24 senators.
“You are only referring to one particular senator and there are 24 senators. His opinion or observation may not be shared by the 23 others,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to issue a categorical statement on whether he would suspend the second round of oil tax increase slated for 2019. /kga
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