Lacson to DOF: Seek revision of TRAIN Law to address oil price hikes
Presidential aspirant and Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday called on the Department of Finance to seek amendments to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law so the government could suspend excise taxes on fuel products if world price reaches $80 per barrel.
The presidential aspirant made the remark when asked about possible government interventions on the successive oil price hikes.
During their weekly “Meet the Press,” Lacson recalled a transitory provision in the TRAIN Law which suspended the scheduled increase in the excise tax when the three-month average of Dubai crude oil reaches $80 per barrel.
This provision, however, has already lapsed following the effectivity of the last tranche of excise tax increase in 2020.
“May nakalagay na provision doon na pag umabot ng threshold na 80 [dollars], suspended ang excise tax ng fuel. That is about P10 na additional sa fuel na binabayaran,” Lacson said.
“So, I think the Department of Finance should initiate the [amendment] of that particular provision kasi natapos 'yan 2020 e,” he added.
The legislator pointed out that the increases in oil prices would have inflationary effect to other commodities.
“Ano ba naman 'yung i-extend na muna natin kasi nga napakahirap na. Alam mo ‘yung inflation, tatamaan tayo niyan kapag napakataas ng presyo ng fuel. Ramdam na natin lahat ‘yan,” he said.
During the Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, Department of Energy (DOE) Oil Industry Management Bureau assistant director Rodela Romero said the agency is looking at temporary relief measures to combat the impact of the continuous increase in petroleum prices, noting that the global movement is out of its control.
Romero said the agency is in coordination with other departments to implement a whole-of-government approach for relief measures amid the successive oil price hikes.
These temporary reliefs include the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) which is implemented by the Department of Transportation through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Under the PPP, PUV drivers are given financial aid to counter the higher prices of petroleum products.
Senate public services committee chairperson Grace Poe had called on the government to release the funds for the public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers’ fuel subsidy under the 2022 national budget amid the recent increases in oil prices.
Prices of petroleum have been increasing in the past seven weeks.
Latest data available from DOE indicate that year-to-date adjustments stand at a total net increase of P5.70 per liter for gasoline, P7.95 per liter for diesel, and P7.20 per liter for kerosene as of February 1, 2022.
Pump prices have only been increased so far this year, following a net increase of P17.65 per liter for gasoline, P14.30 per liter for diesel, and P11.54 per liter for kerosene in 2021.
The increases followed the global trend, given issues on supplies along with the geopolitical tensions hounding Russia and Ukraine.—AOL, GMA News