Philippines: PHP6 tax on diesel unlikely in Jan 18 – 6 Aug 2017

  • It is unlikely that the PHP6 tax on diesel, kerosene, cooking gas and bunker fuel for electricity generation could be imposed in Jan 18, as the administration is proposing.
  • House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said on 5 Aug 17 the new target date would be in 2019 since senators did not make a firm commitment to approve the bill on the PHP6 levy and other so-called tax reforms in 2017.
  • He said the commitment of Senate leaders during the Senate-House consultation meeting on 26 Jul 17 was that they would approve the bill by 1Q18. He added that the need to convene a conference committee to reconcile the two chambers’ version of the measure could further delay final approval.
  • Other congressmen said the fast-approaching 2019 mid-term elections could prompt the Senate to dilly-dally in passing the bill. Several senators are believed to be seeking a new term, including Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
  • New and higher taxes could cost them their re-election. In 2007, Sen. Ralph Recto lost his re-election bid due to strong backlash from his authorship of the expanded value added tax bill in 2005. He won a fresh term in 2010.

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