Senators urge Duterte to postpone second fuel tax hike

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte should reconsider the
implementation of the second round of tax hikes on fuel,
senators said Wednesday, a day after the chief executive
supposedly approved the recommendation of his economic team.

With Duterte’s approval, the price of diesel in January 2019 is
pegged at P37.76 per liter, while gasoline is expected to be
sold at P50.82 per liter, inclusive of a P2-excise tax, Budget
Secretary Benjamin Diokno earleir told reporters.

Senator Francis Escudero filed Senate Resolution No. 964 to
formally ask the President to postpone the proposed fuel tax
hike next year.

“It is best to suspend the implementation of the second tranche
of fuel excise tax right away or that the suspension be swift
in 2019 so as to effectively address inflation, before it again
directly affects the lives of every Filipino,” Escudero said in
his resolution.

The second round of oil tax hike should not be implemented as
it is “premature and impulsive,” opposition Senator Risa
Hontiveros said in a statement.

“Despite the series of oil price rollbacks, the peso cost of
petroleum products has been and remains quite high as a result
of the depreciated peso, she said.

Under the TRAIN law, the implementation or suspension of the
excise tax on fuel depends upon the recommendation of the
Department of Finance (DOF) and the Development Budget
Coordination Committee (DBCC) to the President.

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