Yes, the President Can Suspend the Excise Tax on Oil to Prevent Rising Prices

Cherryl Anne Cruz

The rising oil prices in the world market is keeping the senators nervous in their seats–enough to urge the President to suspend the excise tax imposed on petroleum products before it reaches critical levels.

Critical levels here means that the per barrel price of oil continues to remain at USD80 for three months. If this is to be followed, then the Filipinos would have to wait for three months or more before the excise tax under the TRAIN law can be suspended. This will leave consumers vulnerable to abuses from petroleum companies.

“Hard-earned money by our drivers are being held hostage by oil prices instead of being spent for food, the prices of which, by the way, are likewise increasing,” Senator Grace Poe said. “It means another skipped meal or foregone opportunity for most of our countrymen.”

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Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon sees no issues as to why the President cannot act prematurely before the critical levels are reached. “I don’t think we need to wait for that because the President has the power to suspend the excise tax hike as a result of the price of oil,” he explained.

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“It could be suspended. The President can request for a resolution to be passed by both houses of Congress and that will be granted immediately. This [passage of the resolution] can be done right away and it will bring down prices of prime commodities,” said Drilon, who also added that the President Rodrigo Duterte has “enough political clout” in both houses to create and pass a joint resolution.

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