Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo appealed anew for the government to suspend excise taxes on fuel products to address ballooning oil prices amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Department of Energy (DOE) advised Filipino motorists to prepare for another significant rise in oil prices this coming week as the conflict in Russia and Ukraine intensified. The increase will likely add P3 per liter on gas and P5 per liter on diesel.
“So ang kanyang isang kinonsider o iminungkahi na solusyon dito ay kapag umabot sa isang level, dapat automatically meron tayong pag-suspend ng implementation ng mga buwis tulad ng halimbawa ng excise tax (she’s considering or proposing a solution here is when it reached a certain level, there should be an automatic suspension of the implementation of taxes like, for example, excise tax),” Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said over dzXL on Sunday, March 6.
A former lawmaker, Gutierrez reminded that a “big part” of the fuel prices are taxes. “’Yan ‘yung patong ng gobyerno sa bawat litro ng gasolina na binebenta dito sa ating bansa (That’s the interest imposed by the government on per liter of gasoline being sold here in our country).”
He said it’s “very clear” to the Vice President that there needs to be a mechanism to protect Filipinos, especially the drivers, motorists, and cooks, against the rising fuel prices.
The imposition of the excise taxes was within the “control” of the government, which makes it the best mechanism to quickly ease the impact of the fuel price hike on Filipinos.
“So in effect i-aabsorb muna ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng pagbaba noong buwis para hindi ganoon kabigat ang tama sa ating mga kababayan (the government will absorb by lowering the taxes so our fellowmen will not be that heavily impacted),” Gutierrez said.
The spokesman added that this proposition was backed by economists and experts as the possible solution for the oil price hike.
This is not the first time that Robredo proposed to suspend excise taxes on fuel. She first proposed it in 2018 amid the consecutive oil price hikes in the country.
Robredo, who is also an economist, had said she sounded like a broken-record but her proposal fell on deaf ears because she was part of the opposition.