Philippines: House bill seeks to suspend fuel excise when inflation spikes

  • Opposition members of the House of Representatives have filed a bill seeking to suspend the excise tax on kerosene and diesel contained in the provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
  • House Bill 8171 calls for the excise tax on kerosene and diesel to revert to PHP0 from PHP4 per litre.
  • Rep. Romero S. Quimbo filed the bill saying that rising inflation has placed an undue burden on low-income households.
  • “We recorded inflation of 5.7% in Jul 18, with Aug 18 inflation expected to be at around the same level. Clearly steps have to be taken to bring relief to our people and shield them from future spikes in inflation,” he said.
  • The bill also calls for the automatic suspension of excise taxes on fuel when the quarterly assessed actual inflation rate exceeds the quarterly inflation target of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
  • The relevant clause also reads: “in the event that the average inflation rate for succeeding quarters falls below the quarterly inflation target the Department of Finance (DoF) may lift the suspension of the excise tax on fuel.”
  • House Bill 8171 is the counterpart of the “Bawas Presyo” bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV.
  • Senate Bill 1798 also calls for the automatic suspension of the excise taxes on fuel when the average inflation rate for a three-month period exceeds the annual inflation target range.
  • Also, on 3 Sep 18, Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo called for a change in leadership in the National Food Authority (NFA) amid increasing prices of rice.
  • “We have been seeking the resignation of the administrator since Mar 18,” Ms. Robredo told reporters in a press conference. “We need a trustworthy official in that post,” Ms. Robredo added.
  • The Vice President also proposed to suspend excise taxes on fuel as well as to review the unconditional cash transfer program to determine whether there is a need to increase the PHP200 monthly allocation.

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