Senator Grace Poe is set to refile her bill seeking to temporarily suspend the collection of excise tax on oil products with the continuous spike of fuel prices.  

Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, said suspending the oil excise tax will bring instant help to the public since it will decrease fuel prices and costs of goods and services.

She said she will re-file the bill when the 19th Congress convenes this July. 

“To our people in daily survival mode, the oil tax reprieve will provide a crucial lifeline,” Poe said in a statement.

“The revenues the government will generate from the excise tax to fund cash aid might come too late for families who have nothing to eat now. As the saying points out, ‘Aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo’,” the senator added.

The bill proposed by Poe aims to amend the National Internal Revenue Code to provide for the automatic suspension of the excise tax on regular gasoline, unleaded premium gasoline, and diesel when the average Dubai crude oil for three months prior to the scheduled increase of the month reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel. 

The excise tax on regular and unleaded premium gasoline is currently set at P10 per liter and P6 per liter for diesel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. Moreover, a value-added tax of 12 percent is also imposed on gasoline and diesel.

Poe said the suspension of the excise tax will bring down the prices by P10 per liter for gasoline and P6 per liter for diesel.

“If the government is willing to spend billions in cash assistance to targeted beneficiaries, then it should also be ready to forego a portion of its revenues during the most critical times in order to save millions of lives,” Poe said.

“We hope that this call on excise tax suspension, which is becoming louder by the day, will merit serious consideration from the incoming administration,” the senator added.

Ronald Espartinez