By MAJOY SISCAR
MANILA – A group of Filipino farmers asked Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to remove the value-added tax on oil to provide immediate relief to poor families as prices surged anew.
As it stands, the energy department’s price monitoring reveals that this year’s total net increase for gasoline is P5.90 per liter, and P2.05 for diesel, and P3.20 for kerosene. But prices are scheduled anew for an increase at ?1.30/L, ?1.00/L, and ?1.35/L for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene, respectively.
Consumers are also bracing for another big-time price hike, this time for LPG, which might possibly increase by P9.50 per kilogram or P104.50 for an 11-kilogram LPG cylinder.
“The government should prioritize the public’s call to remove the VAT on oil first to lower the price of petroleum products. But instead, the president gave priority to giving VAT refunds to tourists,” said Danilo Ramos, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
Ramos is referring to the government’s VAT Refund Program that Marcos Jr approved for foreign tourists as part of Quick Wins recommendations from the Private Sector Advisory Council.
“This shows the President’s unending favor to private companies and the private sector over the public’s welfare,” Ramos said.
According to KMP, removing the oil excise provided in the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law will immediately relieve financial burdens on many poor families and contribute to reducing inflation.
Eliminating excise duty and VAT on oil will result in price reductions of P6 for diesel, P5.35 for unleaded gasoline, and P3 per kilogram for LPG, KMP said.
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They added that the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Law’s corporate income tax reduction can be suspended in order to offset the loss of oil revenue.
KMP added that increasing direct income taxes and decreasing indirect consumption taxes, such as those on oil, would make the tax system more progressive.
Filipinos are still suffering from the negative consequences of recurrent oil price increases in 2022, per KMP.
In eleven consecutive weeks from January to March of last year, oil prices increased by P27.30/L for diesel, P14.90/L for gasoline, and P21.30/L for kerosene. (RTS, JJE)