Carefully study next steps on suspension of fuel excise tax, Villanueva tells gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday joined calls for the removal or reduction of the collection of excise tax for gasoline imports, with a caveat that there should be a careful study of the next steps following the suspension of the import duties.
In a statement, Villanueva called for “immediate and efficient” distribution of fuel subsidies for the transport sector, as well as for agriculture and fisheries, amid the rising prices of oil and other fuel products following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Let’s carefully study the next steps regarding excise tax for gasoline. On one hand, we can reduce or remove it for the meantime so that we would take some of the burden off our consumers. On the other hand, we can increase fuel subsidies corresponding the increase in excise tax collection,” he said in a statement.
“Let’s find ways to save on gasoline consumption. It’s a good thing we were able to pass the Telecommuting or Work From Home Law to address the hardships of everyday commute to work,” he added. “Let’s give solutions to Filipino workers so that we can all continue working despite the crisis.”
Villanueva said it was saddening that the oil prices shot up just when the economy was opening up following long weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, several lawmakers have called for the suspension of excise tax on oil products.
President Rodrigo Duterte was also asked to call for a special session of Congress to give lawmakers time to tackle a measure seeking the same.
Meanwhile, House ways and means committee chairman Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said the President should declare a state of economic emergency to allow local government units to tap their calamity funds to address soaring fuel prices.
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