Bill filed to cushion impact of high fuel prices

By Zaldy De Layola

October 9, 2022, 8:02 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo  by Gil Calinga)</em></p>

(PNA file photo  by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – Occidental Mindoro Rep. Leody Tarriela has filed a bill aimed at cushioning the impact of high gasoline and diesel prices by applying progressive excise taxation on fuel amid projection that prices of diesel would increase by as much as PHP6 per liter of gasoline next week.

Under House Bill No. 3628 filed on Friday, the excise tax shall gradually decrease as fuel prices increase.

For unleaded premium gasoline, if the price per liter is at PHP50 or less, the excise tax shall be at PHP10. It shall gradually decrease by PHP1 for every PHP5 increase in per liter prices, until the excise tax reaches only PHP4 when the price per liter is PHP75 or higher.

For diesel, the excise tax is pegged at PHP6 if the price per liter is at PHP50 or less.

The tax also decreases by 50-centavo increments, until it is only at PHP3, if the price per liter of diesel increases to PHP75 or higher.

Kung ang HB 3628 ay ma-isasabatas, ang nakaakmang pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo ay maiibsan ng kaunti. Magiging mas mababa ng PHP6 ang gasoline at PHP3 naman sa bawat litro ng diesel (If HB 3628 is enacted into law, any price increase will be cushioned by just a little. Gasoline prices will go down by as much as PHP6 and diesel by PHP3),” Tarriela said in a statement.

From 1997 when the Tax Reform Act was enacted, until 2017, there was no excise tax on diesel, while it was at PHP4.35 per liter for gasoline.

After the passage of Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law in 2017, the excise tax on diesel was at PHP2.50 per liter in 2018, PHPH4.50 in 2019, and PHP6 per liter starting in 2020

For gasoline, the fuel excise was increased to PHP7 in 2018, PHP9 in 2019 and PHP10 from 2020 onwards.

The TRAIN law was enacted for the purpose of generating additional revenues, primarily to finance the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure programs of the Duterte administration.

HB 3628 will not totally get rid of the excise taxes on petroleum but is a compromise measure as it recognizes the need for the government to continuously raise revenues for projects under the TRAIN law.

“HB 3638 will cushion this burden. Moreover, by having these graduated reductions of excise tax as petroleum prices increase, then we can truly say that our system of taxation is indeed progressive,” Tarriela said. (PNA)