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Batocabe rejects removal of excise tax on fuel: High inflation only temporary

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe has opposed the removal or suspension of the excise tax on fuel.

Batocabe said the removal or suspension of excise tax on fuel products would have negative implications on the country’s infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

“Ang maaapektuhan po [ay] itong mga programa ng gobyerno. Mas malaki po ang magiging epekto nito kaysa yung magbabayad ka ng dagdag pamasahe o dagdag singil sa gasoline o sa mga bilihin,” said Batoabe.

Batocabe explained that although the removal of the excise taxes will entail the P6-rollback in the cost of diesel and kerosene, the rising prices of fuel products cannot be attributed solely to the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Last week, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda clarified that the rising domestic pump prices was not solely caused by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Salceda said only Php 2.75 was added in local fuel prices when the national government started imposing the TRAIN Law at the start of 2018 while the remaining cost of soaring pump prices was due to its ballooning price per barrel in the world market.

He added world market price of oil has increased from $47 per barrel to $75 per barrel since January.

Meanwhile, Batocabe stressed that 6.4 percent inflation rate was “only temporary.”

He explained the rising inflation was nothing compared to the inflation experienced during the previous administrations, specifically during the Marcos regime which registered 50 percent inflation rate in 1984.

Batocabe is also optimistic that the Tax Reform for Attracting Betterand High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill, which aims to rationalize the incentives of big corporations, will also have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

The proposed legislation was approved on final reading on Monday.