Vehicular volume has been identified as a major cause of the worsening traffic condition in the metropolis.

EDSA’s carrying capacity per direction is only 160,000 but as per the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in late 2015 there were 260,000 vehicles going in both directions at any given time of the day.

Low downpayment and light monthly terms have made it easy to acquire a vehicle, which has further overloaded EDSA.

A proposed tax reform package has been put forth by the Duterte administration, which includes raising the tariff on vehicles, lubricants and fuels.

The tax hike will affect all segments and price points of automobiles sold in the Philippines. Vehicles from Php 600,000 and below will be taxed two to five percent; from Php 600,000 to Php 1.1 million – 20 percent; and Php 2.1 million and above will be taxed 60 percent.

“With the prices of automobiles becoming prohibitive, car users will be constrained to continue using their old environment-unfriendly vehicles (while) car distribution companies will suffer lower sales (resulting) in layoff of workers,” said Opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay.

Aside from the additional taxes on the price of automobiles, a Php 10 excise tax will also be added on lubricating oils and greases, waxes and petrolatum, nafta regular gasoline, leaded premium gasoline and aviation turbo jet fuel.

Processed gas, denatured alcohol, kerosene, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, asphalts and bunker fuel will receive an additional Php 6 excise tax.

Rep. Lagman fears that these proposed tax hikes will affect the price of basic goods and commodities and pass a great deal of the burden to the “consuming public who will not benefit from the tax package.”