The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking the temporary suspension of the imposition of excise tax on fuel as oil price continues to soar in the past several months.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Wednesday, Oct. 20, that he wants it suspended during “abnormal conditions” — just like what lawmakers did at the height of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Just like when the Bayanihan Law was passed, there was a provision to suspend the implementation of the excise tax kung papalo po ng (if it would hit) over $80 per barrel in the world market. Nawala po ‘yun no… dahil meron pong time-bound [ang Bayanihan Law] (It was lifted upon the expiration of the Bayanihan Law),” he said in an ANC interview.
“Baka pe-pwede na (Perhaps, it could be possible that) on cases like that, the DOE will have the authority to move for the suspension of excise tax so we can have certain measures,” he added.
Cusi said the agency is also asking industry players for the “unbundling of the oil price” or the price breakdown per liter since oil is controlled by the private sector. He said it will be done for the sake of transparency and protection of the public.
The increase in oil price has already reached P7 to P8 per liter in the past two months. This was driven by the lack of supply, estimated to be two to three million barrels per day.
Currently, Cusi said that only the House of Representatives and the Senate—not the President—could do something to minimize its effect on the Filipino consumers by amending the law on the excise tax.
Despite this, Cusi believes that there would be no more additional oil price increase in the next two months.
“Based on the indication, the fundamentals we are seeing, this wouldn’t happen,” the Energy chief said.
“The OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) is increasing the production by 400,000 barrels a day so that that would help na more or less na hindi na masyadong tumaas ang presyo ng langis (that the increase in oil prices would not be too high),” he added.