MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In the midst of increasing oil prices, a House of Representatives leader stated on Wednesday that Congress should review the unbundling of oil prices and the insertion of the minimum inventory requirements provision to the Oil Deregulation Law.
Garin cited the Mean of Platss Singapore’s estimate of PHP12.80 and PHP8.30 increases per liter of diel and gas by March 15.
She claimed that this is already a crisis, and that Congress should at the very least reduce the effects of rising oil prices on “our already suffering economy.”
“If and when, the House convenes a special session, there should be a review on the unbundling of the oil prices and the inclusion of the minimum inventory requirements provision to the Oil Deregulation Law as proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in the agenda. Even if we have enough supply for the next 40 days, the rising cost of oil prices will surely warrant the suspension of certain taxes so we can give relief to the affected sectors,” Garin said.
While the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is already debating fare hike petitions, and programs like the fuel subsidy in the 2022 General Appropriations Act would help public utility drivers, Garin also believes Congress should intervene by speeding up the debate on measures to suspend the excise tax on oil.
If the excise tax on oil is canceled, Garin estimates that current retail prices will be reduced by at least PHP6 per liter.
“We cannot just sit back and watch whatever economic gains from relaxing restrictions from the last three months go down the drain. If we hold the special session now, we can pass a measure in just a day and the President (Rodrigo Duterte) can sign it immediately. Otherwise, we would have to wait until after the elections to discuss these measures. By then, it might be too late,” she said.
For his part, House Energy Committee Chair Juan Miguel Arroyo said the loss from the suspension of fuel excise tax might be offset by the government’s windfall profit from increased VAT and excise tax revenues brought on by recent fuel price hikes. – WhatALife!