Suspend fuel tax hike for at least 6 months, JV urges gov’t
MANILA, Philippines – Senator JV Ejercito wants the government to suspend the second wave of fuel excise tax hike for six months.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ejercito pressed the government to temporarily halt the higher tax rate, which took effect this month.
“We only have to look back at our recent experience where prices of commodities skyrocketed when the first round of increase was imposed in order to realize that this course of action is a disaster to the people’s pockets,” he said.
The senator noted that while the inflation rate has slowed down towards the end of 2018, financial experts had predicted an upward trend of prices of commodities, mostly consumer goods.
“I believe we can afford a six-month suspension. After that, let’s assess the situation,” Ejercito said.
“While I agree that the government will get additional funds, which will be used for infrastructure projects, what I’m saying is that we need to suspend the increase for the meantime, let’s say six months, because the prices of commodities are still high and still keep on increasing,” he further said.
Ejercito was among the 17 senators who wrote a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte last October to support a move in Congress to suspend further increases in the excise taxes on fuel.
The staggered increase in fuel excise tax was provided for under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion ( TRAIN) law.
Despite calls for the suspension, the government proceeded with the scheduled increase starting this January. /gsg
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