FARMERS and fishermen equally hurting from the incessant oil price spikes must not be left out in the distribution of government subsidy to affected transport sectors, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Thursday.
At the same time, the senator reiterated his call to suspend the excise tax on oil products to mitigate the impact of oil prices, which hit 10th straight week on Nov. 2.
Fuel prices have increased by almost P20 per liter this year.
Pangilinan said the suspension of excise tax will reduce the current prices of fuel products from P6 to P9 pesos per liter.
Last week, reports said the government will release P1 billion to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to provide cash grants to around 178,000 drivers.
“Kailangang-kailangan ito ng ating mga tsuper at riders. Dapat mabigyan din ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda na tinatamaan din ng pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo (This is a much-needed assistance to our jeepney, bus and tricycle drivers. But we hope similar aid will be given to our farmers and fishermen who are not spared from the oil hikes),” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan, author of the Sagip Saka law, said 70 percent of the expenses of fishermen go to fuel for the fishing boats they use.
“Kapag tumaas ang gastos ng ating mga mangingisda at magsasaka, tataas din ang presyo ng pagkain, lahat tayo ay apektado,” he said.
While the fuel vouchers will not be able to cover the entire increase on the price of oil, these could somewhat ease the expenses of the farmers and fishers.
The senator said fuel subsidy to the affected sectors is being tackled by the Senate in the ongoing proposed 2022 budget hearings.
Separate hearings are also being conducted on the suggestions to temporarily halt the imposition of excise tax on oil as contained in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Pangilinan has consistently opposed the excise tax on fuel component under the TRAIN law.