By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — With farmers, fisherfolk, and other marginalized sectors
bearing the brunt of the oil price hike, Senator Francis “Kiko”
Pangilinan calls to suspend excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law.
“Dapat palaging isipin kung sino ang mga pinaka-apektado. Palaging ang
papasan nito ay ang mga maliliit — ang mga magsasaka na umaasa sa
krudo para sa mga traktora at pump para sa irigasyon, mga mangingisda
na kailangan ng krudo para makapamalaot. Mga tsuper ng jeep, mga
delivery riders at lahat ng bumibiyahe,” Pangilinan said.
“Dapat suspindihin ang excise tax para makahinga naman nang konti ang
mga kababayan natin,” he said.
As of this morning, an oil price hike was announced yet again for the
9th straight week.
Since the beginning of 2021, oil prices have increased by about P20
(P18.45 per liter for diesel and P20.85 per liter for gasoline).
According to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas
(Pamalakaya), a small fisherfolk now only earns P120 per fishing trip
as opposed to the usual P300 before the oil price hikes.
Various transport groups have also been calling for a fare hike to
cushion rising prices.
Pangilinan backs Vice President Leni Robredo’s call to suspend excise
tax on fuel, saying that suspension should already be automatic in the
event of extraordinary price hikes.
“Napakabilis ng pagtaas kaya dapat mabilis din ang solusyon ng
gobyerno. ‘Matic na dapat na suspend para masalo agad ang epekto.
Dalawang magkasabay na solusyon: isuspinde ang excise tax at maglaan
ng cash assistance para sa mga apektado,” Pangilinan said.
The vice-presidential candidate stressed that cash assistance is
necessary to help the marginalized get through the pandemic.
Pangilinan is co-author and co-sponsor of the Cash Assistance for
Filipino Farmers Act of 2020 that mandates excess funds collected from
importation will be converted to cash assistance for farmers.
“We proposed this measure to curb the low prices of palay. Lalo pa
ngayong bababa ang kanilang kita sa pagtaas ng langis. Bawat pagtaas
ng tax at ng presyo, pababa ng pababa ang kita. Kaya kailangan ng
suportang diretso sa kanilang mga bulsa,” he said.
The bill has already been passed by both Houses of Congress last
September 21, 2021.
In 2018, Pangilinan, along with the Senate Minority, proposed a joint
resolution to suspend excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law.
Vice President Leni Robredo also called to suspend excise tax on fuel
as early as 2018.
An additional P1.15 per liter for gasoline, P0.55 per liter for
Kerosine, and P0.45 per liter for diesel will become effective
starting tomorrow, October 26. (ai/mtvn)