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Recto, De Lima oppose Duterte administration’s plan to hike fuel tax

Senators Ralph Recto and Leila de Lima on Thursday opposed the Duterte administration’s plan to impose higher taxes on oil products.

In a text message, Recto argued that there is no “fiscal crisis” that would justify the need for such excise tax hike.

“I am against any tax increase. There is no fiscal crisis and the timing is bad. Oil prices are on its way up,” Recto said.

A news report quoting Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the additional revenue from the additional taxes will be used to fund the government’s infrastructure program.

The Department of Finance has earlier briefed both houses of Congress that it planned to raise the excise tax on gasoline to P10.00 per liter from the current P4.35 per liter, and on diesel – which currently has no excise tax – to P6.00 per liter.

De Lima, for her part, said the plan was “not acceptable,” saying it would create an additional burden to the public.

“Siguradong magtataas ang pamasahe at bilihin habang ang kakayahang bumili ng tao ay hindi naman tumataas. Galit ba talaga sila sa mahihirap?” De Lima said in a statement.

“Palagi na lang mahihirap ang biktima, sa war on drugs mahihirap lang ang biktima, pati ba naman sa pagkolekta ng buwis ang mahihirap pa din ang dapat pasakitan?” she added.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the planned increase should be first studied extensively.

She also questioned if the increase was necessary, citing the revenue target cut for both the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs last year.

“Maybe they should focus more on fulfilling the President’s campaign promise to curb corruption in these revenue collection agencies to increase collection efficiency,” De Lima said. —NB, GMA News