Pangilinan backs Robredo: Suspend excise tax on fuel to help farmers, fisherfolk survive

October 25, 2021

WITH farmers, fisherfolk, and other marginalized sectors bearing the brunt of the oil price hike, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls to suspend excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law.

“Dapat palaging isipin kung sino ang mga pinaka-apektado. Palaging ang papasan nito ay ang mga maliliit — ang mga magsasaka na umaasa sa krudo para sa mga traktora at pump para sa irigasyon, mga mangingisda na kailangan ng krudo para makapamalaot. Mga tsuper ng jeep, mga delivery riders at lahat ng bumibiyahe,” Pangilinan said.

“Dapat suspindihin ang excise tax para makahinga naman nang konti ang mga kababayan natin,” he said.

As of this morning, an oil price hike was announced yet again for the 9th straight week.

Since the beginning of 2021, oil prices have increased by about P20 (P18.45 per liter for diesel and P20.85 per liter for gasoline).

According to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a small fisherfolk now only earns P120 per fishing trip as opposed to the usual P300 before the oil price hikes.

Various transport groups have also been calling for a fare hike to cushion rising prices.

Pangilinan backs Vice President Leni Robredo’s call to suspend excise tax on fuel, saying that suspension should already be automatic in the event of extraordinary price hikes.

“Napakabilis ng pagtaas kaya dapat mabilis din ang solusyon ng gobyerno. ‘Matic na dapat na suspend para masalo agad ang epekto. Dalawang magkasabay na solusyon: isuspinde ang excise tax at maglaan ng cash assistance para sa mga apektado,” Pangilinan said.

The vice-presidential candidate stressed that cash assistance is necessary to help the marginalized get through the pandemic.

Pangilinan is co-author and co-sponsor of the Cash Assistance for Filipino Farmers Act of 2020 that mandates excess funds collected from importation will be converted to cash assistance for farmers.

“We proposed this measure to curb the low prices of palay. Lalo pa ngayong bababa ang kanilang kita sa pagtaas ng langis. Bawat pagtaas ng tax at ng presyo, pababa ng pababa ang kita. Kaya kailangan ng suportang diretso sa kanilang mga bulsa,” he said.

The bill has already been passed by both Houses of Congress last September 21, 2021.

In 2018, Pangilinan, along with the Senate Minority, proposed a joint resolution to suspend excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law.

Vice President Leni Robredo also called to suspend excise tax on fuel as early as 2018.

An additional P1.15 per liter for gasoline, P0.55 per liter for Kerosine, and P0.45 per liter for diesel will become effective starting tomorrow, October 26.

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