Hontiveros: Gov’t 2nd fuel tax hike proves admin’s ‘wobbly policy’
MANILA, Philippines — Two opposition senators lamented on Wednesday the government’s decision to push through with second round of fuel tax increase next year.
Senator Risa Hontiveros said that the lifting of the suspension on fuel excise tax exposed the administration’s “wobbly policy” in protecting the public from the negative impact of unstable oil prices.
“President (Rodrigo) Duterte claimed that we are powerless to respond to the impact of the rise of oil prices in the world market. He also said that we are at the mercy of the international oil market,” she said in a statement.
“Then why lift the suspension on the fuel excise tax collection, one of the few safety nets that protect the public from the volatility of the international oil market?” she added.
For his part, Senator Bam Aquino said that the government’s “push and pull promise” has exhausted Filipinos who are already suffering from the rise in prices.
“Nakakapagod ang mga urong-sulong na pangako, lalo na para sa mga Pilipinong nalulunod sa taas-presyo,” he said.
“Pinakinggan sana ang taumbayan at hindi na gatungan ng buwis sa petrolyo ng TRAIN Law, habang alam naman ng lahat na ang pag-akyat nito ang dahilan sa mataas na presyo sa merkado,” he added referring to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.
The said act imposes an additional levy of P2.24 per liter for diesel and gasoline starting January 1 next year.
Earlier, the President approved the proposed suspension of the second round of oil excise tax increase.
This, after the economic managers recommended the suspension to help tame the soaring prices of commodities after inflation clocked in at a new nine-year high last September.
However on Tuesday, the President approved the second tranche of fuel excise tax hike in 2019 following the recommendation of the economic team, this time to push through with the increase. /jpv
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