Turn to ‘belt-tightening,’ not fuel tax, to make up for losses - Pimentel | Inquirer News
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Turn to ‘belt-tightening,’ not fuel tax, to make up for losses – Pimentel

/ 10:46 PM June 20, 2022
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. STORY: Turn to ‘belt-tightening,’ not fuel tax, to make up for losses - Pimentel

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (File photo from a video posted online by the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III called on the Marcos administration on Monday to suspend the collection of the fuel excise tax amid surging prices and turn instead to “belt-tightening” to make up for potential revenue losses.

He added that he would file a bill removing the fuel excise tax and the value-added tax (VAT) in fuel transactions.

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“We call for the suspension of the collection [of the fuel excise tax] because I think that is already an effective action,” Pimentel said, speaking in a mix of Filipino and English, in an interview with reporters.

“But at the same time, we will file now a bill removing excise tax on fuel petroleum products., exempting from VAT the transactions involving petroleum products and fuel,” he went on.

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“The contribution of the government of the Republic of the Philippines to the prices of diesel at gasoline is what we should remove. That’s what we control. What is within our control is what we should identify, and that’s where we should have a national consensus – that we should reduce what [taxes] are being imposed,” he added.

Asked regarding the possible revenue losses due to a suspension of fuel excise tax, Pimentel said the government could resort to “belt-tightening” and forgo any “vanity projects” that are not essential.

“It has to be belt-tightening. We no longer have a choice. As a nation, I think we should really be open to belt-tightening,” he said.

“Let’s remove the so-called vanity projects — like seminars and other projects that are costly. Let’s review everything in our budget,” he added.

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TAGS: Aquilino Pimentel III, Fuel excise tax, fuel prices
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