With fuel prices expected to shoot up yet again, the government should immediately implement a temporary suspension of excise taxes on fuel products to cushion its impact on consumers, presidential candidate Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Sunday.
Lacson, standard bearer of Partido Reporma, said he believes the government can do so until such time that the international price of oil stabilizes to a manageable level.
“Another round of price hikes in fuel is expected this week and this time, the increases are unprecedented,” Lacson said, stating that the increases is threatening to further raise the cost of living.
“The Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) reference price for refined petroleum products and other oil price indices have already reached levels never seen before as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he noted, adding that prices of gasoline and diesel per liter could hit more than P80-90 per liter.
Lacson further said suspending excise tax on fuel will provide the much-needed breathing space not just to motorists, but also to virtually all sectors affected by the upward trend in fuel prices as it will also impact the prices of food and other basic commodities.
“The upward trajectory of fuel prices is expected to continue and the government must do something now to mitigate the impact of international oil prices on motorists, the public transport sector, fisherfolk and farmers who will bear the brunt of this burden if we do not act now,” Lacson stressed.
At the same time, the senator said the government must draw up long-term solutions to the crisis, including the use of renewable energy.
“Our long-term solutions should be in investing in renewable energy, facilitating the transition to electric vehicles in our transport sector, and exploring for oil, gas and other indigenous energy resources that can supply sustainable energy,” he stressed.
“This will serve multiple purposes in relation to climate, the environment and sustainable development. This will remove our dependence on imported fuel and will be a buffer against disruptions like war,” Lacson emphasized.