With another round of oil price hikes, Bayan says oil tax suspension is just and humane

DRY PUMP Several pumps at a gas station in Tagbilaran city, the provincial capital of Bohol, ran out of diesel on Tuesday as vehicle owners began filling their tanks on Monday evening ahead of the sharp rise in fuel prices this week. —LEO UDTOHAN

MANILA, Philippines – The right thing to do with the recent series of oil price increases is to suspend oil taxes, such as value added tax (VAT) and excise tax, said Tuesday morning the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

According to Bayan’s general secretary, Renato Reyes, such a decision by the government is “humane” and “fair”, given that the oil price increases implemented earlier have neutralized the huge decline of a week earlier.

For the twelfth time in 2022, oil prices have risen again – to around 8.65 pesos per liter of diesel, 3.40 pesos per liter of gasoline and 9.40 pesos per liter of kerosene.

“The latest rise in local oil prices is offsetting any setback that occurred last week. The government remains committed to maintaining high fuel taxes despite the surge in oil prices and the disastrous effects this has had on communities. livelihoods of drivers, fishermen and farmers. There is no decisive action from the regime,” Reyes said.

“The most humane and just thing to do now is to suspend oil taxes so that all consumers can benefit and recover their lost income. Allowing oil prices to rise and profiting from the misery of the people is simply cruel. The people demand immediate and decisive action,” he added.

Reyes further said that the government must not earn revenue – from said taxes – while people are suffering from the latest oil price hikes.

He also noted that government subsidies are not enough.

“High world prices are driven by speculation and should not be allowed to be immediately reflected in local pump prices. Consumers must be protected,” he said.

“High oil taxes, especially VAT, have generated windfall revenues for the government. The government gains from the misery of the people. It is patently unfair. Targeted subsidies are not enough to cover the losses suffered by the affected sectors,” he added.

On March 16, the Ministry of Finance (DOF) rejected requests to suspend the excise tax on petroleum products, instead proposing a subsidy of P200 per month for poor families affected by the price hike. fuel.

READ: DOF reverses fuel excise tax suspension, offers P200 monthly aid to poor families

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, asked the DOF to find ways to increase the allowance to 500 pesos per month. The DOF agreed, but the grant of P500 per month would only be given for three months, making a total of P1,500 for each poor family.

However, groups have insisted that the P200 and P500 aid is too small to offset rising oil prices and the knock-on effect it is causing on the prices of other goods.

READ: Duterte asks DOF ​​to find way to increase monthly subsidy from P200 to P500

On Monday evening, many motorists were seen driving to pump stations to refuel their vehicles before oil prices rise. The drop in oil prices on Monday – which ranged between 65 and 75 pesos per liter of diesel or gasoline – was the result of the huge decline of March 22 last year.

RELATED STORY:
DBM provides a grant of P500 per month for 3 months, or P1,500 for poor families

Insufficient 200 to 500 pesos in aid slaps the poor in the face

Big drop in fuel prices next week, if the trend continues

VDE

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About Natalee Broderick

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