Congressman to refile bill suspending fuel excise tax

New excise tax on fuel to take effect after January 15 – DOE

House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan De Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez will be refiling his proposed bill to suspend for four years the excise taxes on diesel, gasoline, and other fuel products in the 19th Congress amid the continuous rise in fuel prices. 

Rodriguez said that the suspension of the excise tax on fuel will bring “immediate relief to the people,” adding that the bill would cut Php6 per liter for diesel, Php5.65/liter for gasoline, Php5/liter for kerosene, and Php3 per kilo for liquefied petroleum gas.

The four-year period is the time the lawmaker expects the economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine. He added that the bill would only cover the tax imposed under Section 43 of Republic Act (RA) 10963 or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. 

The proposed law will also cover bunker fuel oil which is used for generating electricity. Under the TRAIN law, the tax for bunker fuel is Php6 per liter. 

Rodriguez, who was re-elected last May, said that the approval of the bill would be beneficial to all sectors of the economy, including the tourism and aviation sector – which were badly hit by the pandemic. 

Both the Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy (DOE) called on lawmakers to suspend the excise tax on fuel to help mitigate the prices of fuel amid rising international prices. However, the Department of Finance had turned down the proposal as it would deplete the government’s funds for its COVID-19 pandemic response. In 2021, Sen. Grace Poe also filed a bill to suspend the excise tax on fuel. 

The DOE is also seeking the amendment of RA 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law, which provides that local oil prices be evaluated based on global oil prices.