DBM: Philippines to lose P117 billion if fuel excise tax suspended
The Philippines will lose P117 billion in revenues or 0.5% of the country's gross domestic product if the government suspends the collection of excise tax petroleum products, an official of the Department of Budget and Management said on Friday.
Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo said the country's economic managers were opposed to the proposals to suspend the excise tax on fuel to ease the impact on the public of the weekly increases in pump prices.
“[The] Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) or the group of economic managers strongly opposes the proposal to suspend the imposition of fuel taxes because it will translate to significant foregone revenues that will be detrimental to our recovery,” Toledo said at a Palace briefing.
The DBCC is composed of the secretaries of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DOF), DBM as well as the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
From a cost-benefit standpoint, Toledo said the expected foregone P117 billion in state revenues could impact the implementation of programs, activities, and projects.
Similarly, the DOF has bucked calls for the suspension of excise taxes on petroleum products as this may result in a revenue loss amounting to P131.4 billion for 2022 alone, which may affect the government’s budget for COVID-19 recovery measures.
DBM officer-in-charge Tina Rose Canda earlier said that while suspending the excise tax on fuel would benefit the transportation and agriculture sectors, this would hit “other social services.”
The Department of Education’s K-12, the Department of Health’s medical assistance, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s assistance for regions in crisis situations programs may be affected, she said.
Several lawmakers have expressed support for the suspension of excise taxes on fuel products as an immediate relief amid the continuous rise in oil prices aggravated by the Ukraine-Russia war.
Toledo said the DBCC, instead, rallied for targeted assistance such as the fuel subsidies for public transport and agriculture sectors.
The DBM, on Thursday, released P2.5 billion and P500 million in funds for the fuel subsidies for the public transport utility and the agriculture sectors, respectively. —NB, GMA News