About a month ago, Department of Finance (DOF) said that the second tranche of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law will be suspended. Supposedly set for January 2019, it would see fuel, along with other goods, getting additional taxes.

Now it seems like the second part of the TRAIN Law will get going again. President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the implementation of the Php 2-per liter fuel excise tax hike scheduled beginning January next year. Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno says the reason to re-implement the fuel tax hike is due to global oil prices going down dramatically since November.

The fuel tax hike was initially suspended due to Section 43 of RA 10963. It states: "For the period covering 2018 to 2020, the scheduled increase in the excise tax on fuel as imposed in this Section shall be suspended when the average Dubai crude oil price based on Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) for three (3) months prior to the scheduled increase of the month reaches or exceeds Eighty dollars (USD 80) per barrel".

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Prior to this announcement, worldwide oil prices were hitting close to $80 per barrel. Now, prices per barrel have dropped well below that, with some predicting that it could even become lower than $ 60 per barrel. Because of that, there is no more reason to suspend the excise tax on fuel, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Diokno further reinforced Panelo's statement by saying the conditions to suspend the fuel tax hike are not met.