Gov’t can review excise tax structure, but not now, says Imee Marcos

Published March 20, 2022, 10:51 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The government can review the current structure of the excise tax laws but it should not do so at the expense of fixing the series of increases in the prices of petroleum, Senator Imee Marcos said on Sunday, March 20.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, said the immediate release of the fuel subsidies and other subsidy, especially for the agriculture sector, is still key to alleviate the public’s despair on the high cost of fuel.

“I think we can review the excise tax structure, but we have to be careful,” Marcos pointed out during an interview over Radio DZRH.

“Medyo ingat-ingat tayo kasi baka ma-wipe out (we need to be extra careful because it might wipe out) the funds we need to procure Covid-19 vaccines, for treatment, other subsidies to other essential items,” she said.

“Di ko sinasabi na huwag tanggalin ang excise tax, kung hindi gawin natin yung pinakamabibilis (like the) subsidy na nasabatas na pero hindi na pa nare-release, hindi pa kumpleto yung pag re-release (Le’ts do the most urgent like the subsidy that has been made into law but are not yet released, or not yet fully released),” Marcos stressed.

She also pointed out that tinkering with the tax structure could bring more problems in the future.

That is why she said, she agrees with the state economic managers decision to reject tax exemptions so it would not affect the P131-billion revenue collections the government needs to sustain the country’s economic recovery.

“So nakakatakot pag ginulo ng ginulo yung tax structure…kasi everything gets totally confused,” she pointed out.

“So ingat-ingat tayo sa pag ma maniubra nitong excise tax. Kayang-kayang bawasan but I think mas targeted yung pagbibigay ng ayuda sa mahihirap (So we must be careful in maneuvering the excise tax. Reducing it is doable, but I think giving financial assistance to the poor is the most targeted approach),” she said.

“Pag nagbawas tayo ng buwis ang problema pati yung malalaking kumpanya, mga dambuhalang corporation makikinabang, eh ayaw natin yun kasi kailangan natin magkaroon ng income para sa ating mga mamamayan (If we reduce the excise tax, the problem is bigger companies, and corporations will also benefiot, but we don’t want that. Because we need that income for our people),” Marcos reiterated.