Pangilinan: 2nd round of fuel excise tax hike should still be suspended
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday remained adamant that the second round of fuel excise tax hike in January 2019 should be suspended despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s go-signal.
“Ang posisyon natin pa rin is that it should be suspended. May mga factors na hindi na-consider sa usapin ng inflation,” Pangilinan said during a press briefing.
Pangilinan said the additional excise tax in January will be an “added burden” to the consuming public because the prices of products have not “considerably gone down” even though inflation has lessened.
“While inflation has somehow lessened, prices may have stopped going up but they have not been really considerably gone down which is still, in other words, masakit pa rin sa bulsa para sa ating mga kababayan,” the senator said.
“The additional excise tax in January will be an added burden, bawat piso mahalaga sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Last October, minority senators including Pangilinan filed a joint resolution calling for for the suspension of the excise tax hike on fuel.
Pangilinan said instead of raising taxes on fuel, government should raise its resources and ensure that taxes collected are spent.
“We need to raise resources. I think critical dito is the question of ‘are we actually spending the money that we are collecting?’ Kasi kolekta tayo ng kolekta ang laki ng underspending ng gobyerno,” the senator said.
“So the challenge is to ensure that the money collected in taxes are actually spent rather than naka-tengga,” Pangilinan said.
“There are other ways to ensure effective, efficient increase in tax collection without taking the easy road just imposing more burden on our consuming public,” he added. /muf
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