House bill seeks to remove fuel excise tax

A GROUP of lawmakers led by Marikina 2nd District Rep. Miro Quimbo has filed a measure seeking to return to zero the excise tax imposed on kerosene and diesel following the enactment of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law.

In the explanatory note of the bill, the lawmakers said the increase in the excise tax of petroleum products has resulted in higher prices not just of fuel but also of goods and services that are dependent on consumption of fuel for their production, operation or distribution.

The lawmakers said that further increases in prices of petroleum products will drive up inflation and put a strain on the finances of Filipino households.

House Bill 8171 likewise seeks the automatic suspension of the implementation of fuel excise tax increases whenever the inflation rate in a given quarter exceeds the government’s quarterly target.

“We recorded an inflation of 5.7 percent in July, with August inflation expected to be at around the same level. Clearly steps have to be taken to bring relief to our people and shield them from future spikes in inflation,” Quimbo said.

“Apart from the return of the exemption on excise taxes for kerosene and diesel, we are all in agreement that we cannot allow ourselves to once again be caught flat-footed by unforeseen spikes in inflation, particularly with further excise tax increases scheduled for 2019 and 2020. With this bill, we are offering a realistic and much-needed safeguard for Filipinos,” he added.

HB No. 8171 is a counterpart measure to Senate Bill No. 1798, also known as the “Bawas Presyo Bill” filed by Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV.

Joining Quimbo in the filing of this bill are: Quezon City Rep. Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, and Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato. (Keith A. Calayag/SunStar Philippines)


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