Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services, filed a bill that would institutionalize the immediate suspension of excise tax on fuel products if the average price of Dubai crude oil hits $80 per barrel for three consecutive months.
Senate Bill 2445 particularly seeks to amend Section 148 of Republic Act (RA) 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. If passed, the bill would immediately be able to drop pump prices by Php10 per liter for gasoline and Php6/liter for diesel.
Prior to this, RA 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law had a similar provision, but it was only effective from 2018 to 2020.
The Department of Finance, had said that the government could lose up to Php131 billion if the bill is enacted into law.
However, Poe clapped backed that the Duterte administration has pushed for the lowering of income taxes for companies via RA 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, which shed said has cost the Philippines’ coffers Php251 billion in two years alone. CREATE was enacted in March.
“If the government can afford Php251 billion for big companies, why can’t it do the same for jeepney drivers, delivery riders and everybody else who have to go to work and are forced to bring their own vehicles because there’s not enough public transportation,” Poe asked in a statement.
The Department of Energy has previously batted for the suspension of excise and value-added taxes on petroleum products, as well as the amendment of RA 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law amid the series of oil price hikes. Congressmen have particularly welcomed amendments to the said law.