Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson called on his colleagues on Sunday to study the possible lifting of value added tax exemptions granted to different industries instead of putting a stop to imposition of excise tax on fuel.
Lacson said that lawmakers should carefully study his proposal as he also called everyone to calm down amid the demand of some to stop collecting the tax fuel.
Imposing of tax to fuel is part of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law passed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The problem with it (suspensi0n of excise tax) is revenue erosion, where will you get it, how can you compensate?” Lacson said in a radio interview last Sunday.
Poe urged Dept. of Finance
Meanwhile, Senate Committee on Public Services chair Senator Grace Poe has recently urged the Department of Finance to suspend the implementation of fuel excise tax, due to increasing prices of basic commodities.
“We are requesting the Department of Finance (DoF) and other government agencies to seriously study the suspensi0n of excise tax on fuel because of the relentless increase in the prices of oil products,” Poe said in a statement after the hearing on the effects of the TRAIN Law.
“It is easy to call for the suspensi0n of excise tax on fuel. Not only easy but also popular, but where will you get lost revenues?” Lacson also pointed out.
Lacson said that Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia with so many tax exemptions to various industries.
He also noted that the country currently have 143 lines of exemption on economic zone, power, housing, cooperatives, and more other industries which is way higher than the combined VAT exemptions granted by countries in Southeast Asia.*
The senator added that lifting the exemptions of VAT should have been included in the package of TRAIN Law, however, other members of the Senate had blocked the proposal.
“Now because of what is happening we need to discuss the issue again and I am willing to file a bill that would remove some VAT exemptions,”Lacson said.
Along with Poe, Joseph Victor Ejercito also called on stoppage of fuel tax imposition.
“I urge government to implement the TRAIN Law provision that provided for the
suspensi0n of fuel excise tax increase when the average Dubai crude oil price based
on Mean of Platts Singapore for three months prior to the scheduled increase of the
month reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito even pointed out that the inflation rate was up by 4.5 percent in April and the
price of crude oil is also going up and nearing $80 per barrel in the world market.
To increase revenues
“While we understand the need of government to increase revenues, we need to
prioritize the protection of the public who are bearing the brunt of these high prices
which is negating the increase in take home pay brought about by lower income taxes,”
Senator Bam Aquino also share that same sentiment, saying that imposition of
TRAIN and taxes on petroleum can be controll, and that is to suspend the fuel tax.
“Let us give the Filipino families small comfort, let us suspend excise tax,” he said.