By Bernadette E Tamayo/Manila Times
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th yesterday urged the government to support efforts in Congress to stop the excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.
The senator said time is running out as lawmakers have just 15 session days remaining for 2018.
The Senate and House of Representatives will resume session on November 12 and will adjourn December 12.
Aquino filed Senate Bill 1798 or the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill in May while minority bloc senators filed Joint Resolution 15 calling for suspension and rollback of the excise tax on fuel.
Senators from the majority group had written President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the Train Law.
“There’s no more time. It’s 47 days before Christmas and there are only 15 session days to push our proposal, as well as the resolution of the minority bloc regarding the scrapping of the excise tax on petroleum products,” Aquino said.
“The Senate is one in its desire to lower the price of petroleum and basic goods for the welfare of our fellowmen who continue to suffer due to high prices of basic commodities,” he added.
Aquino said, “Let us give some relief to the poor who are overwhelmed by high prices of goods.”
He added that suspending the excise tax on fuel under the Train Law “is the best Christmas gift that the government can give to the people.”
Aquino noted that SB 1798 is the “only measure” in the Senate that seeks to amend the Train Law.
It aims to add a safeguard to ensure the suspension in the collection of the excise tax on fuel once the inflation rate surpasses the government’s inflation target for three consecutive months.
“Removing the excise tax on fuel would not only bring down prices of fuel, but also prices of fares, food and other goods in the market,” Aquino said.
He added that the removal of the excise tax on petroleum would translate to additional P87 per day income for public utility drivers that they can use to purchase two kilos of rice for their families.
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