Robredo, lawmakers urge gov’t to suspend value added, excise taxes on fuel, water & electricity


FILE PHOTO: Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines — House committee on banks & financial intermediaries chairman Henry Ong is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regulations implementing the fuel excise taxes of 2018 and 2019.

This is to ease the country’s inflation that surged in the past months.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate echoed Ong’s sentiments, pressing as well for the suspension of 12 percent value added tax on fuel, water, and electricity.

Senator Bam Aquino, meanwhile, urged Congress to work together in passing the Senate Bill 1798, dubbed as the Bawas Presyo Bill.

The proposal seeks to amend the tax reform law and add a safeguard ensuring the suspension in the collection of additional fuel taxes once the inflation rate surpasses the government’s target for three consecutive months.

If the excise tax on fuel will be suspended, around P3.00 will be deducted from the price of oil while fuel, water and electricity rates may decrease by P120 if the 12 percent value-added tax will be suspended.

Vice President Leni Robredo believes it is high time to review the subsidy placed under the TRAIN law since the inflation remains at 6.7 percent.

“First, they should check if the 10 million beneficiaries on the list is still correct. Second, if the P200 daily subsidy is still effective considering the computation was done before the inflation jumped,” said Robredo.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, assures to forward these suggestions to the president.

For its part, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement that the passage of the rice tarrification bill is expected to tame inflation in 2019 and 2020. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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