Philippines: Fuel excise tax hike green-lighted by palace

  • A FRESH INCREASE in fuel excise tax will proceed as scheduled in Jan 19 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved in a Cabinet meeting on 4 Dec 18 his economic managers’ recommendation to scrap his order barely three weeks ago to suspend the hike, the state Budget chief told reporters.
  • “It’s a go,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a mobile phone message when asked for an update as the Cabinet meeting was under way.
  • TRAIN, among other major adjustments to the local tax structure, imposed a PHP6 per liter fuel tax spread out through three years, with the first tranche of PHP2.50/liter imposed in Jan 18, a PHP2/liter increase set in 2019 and PHP1.5/liter for 2020.
  • Mr. Diokno also cited PHP43.4bn in revenues to be foregone from suspension of the scheduled tax increase.
  • Earlier in the day, the Department of Energy (DoE) said it expected world crude prices to be at the “low USD50s” per barrel in 2019, prompting the agency to support state economic managers’ proposal last week to scrap Malacañang’s decision to suspend an excise tax hike on fuel that was scheduled for Jan 19.

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