February 4, 2023

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Marcos gov’t unlikely to suspend fuel tax

2 min read

A SUSPENSION of the excise tax on fuel products is unlikely under the administration of President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., according to the incoming Finance chief.

Finance Secretary-designate Benjamin E. Diokno, who currently heads the Philippine central bank, said it would be unwise to suspend the excise tax on fuel products because reversing such a move would be “very difficult.” 

“When you cut taxes on fuel, it will benefit everybody, the rich, the poor, the middle-income class,” he told CNN Philippines. “When there is a need to put it back, restore the cut because things have normalized, it’s very difficult to push such measures before Congress.”

“I think it’s a wrong move to cut taxes at this time.”

Mr. Diokno made the statement after fuel retailers on Tuesday raised the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene by P2.70, P6.55 and P5.45 per liter, respectively.

The current excise tax rate is P10 per liter for gasoline, P6 per liter for diesel, P5 per liter for kerosene, and P3 per liter for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The Duterte administration had rejected calls to suspend excise taxes on fuel products despite the continued spike in oil prices. Instead, the government provided direct aid to the most vulnerable sectors.

Mr. Diokno said targeted assistance to jeepney drivers, farmers, and fisherfolk is “more efficient than cutting taxes” and that the next government “will continue that approach.”

However, some public utility drivers claimed they have yet to receive the P6,500 fuel subsidy promised by the government.

Mr. Diokno acknowledged that the delay in the distribution of the cash assistance is a “problem of implementation.”

“We’ll make sure implementation will be efficient and will be timely,” he said.

Mr. Marcos on Monday met with members of his economic team, including Mr. Diokno, incoming Budget chief Amenah Pangandaman, and incoming Socioeconomic Planning chief Arsenio M. Balisacan, among others.



2022-06-07 12:33:21

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