After 10 successive weeks, the increase of oil prices in the country still shows no signs of slowing down, and one Presidential aspirant is calling for some relief for motorists.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is proposing for the immediate suspension of fuel excise tax to provide Filipinos a much-needed breather from the prices.
"The upward trajectory of fuel prices is expected to continue and the government must do something now to mitigate the impact of international oil prices on motorists, the public transport sector, fisherfolk, and farmers who will bear the brunt of this burden if we do not act now," said Sen. Lacson.
The presidential candidate proposed a mechanism that would suspend excise tax on fuels when crude prices based on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) reach or exceed USD 90 to USD 100 per barrel. This is similar to the bill proposed by Sen. Grace Poe back in November last year.
With that system in place, we could see fuel prices slashed by PHP 10.00 per liter for gasoline and PHP 6.00 per liter of diesel and kerosene, based on today's crude oil trading of around USD 105 to USD 108 per barrel.
When crude oil prices go below the threshold of USD 90 to USD 100 per barrel, Sen. Lacson said the excise tax can then be reimposed. This move would, of course, mean a loss of revenue for the government. However, according to Sen. Lacson, “what matters right now is the plight of ordinary Filipinos”.
Lacson cited that while the proposal would only be a temporary measure, this would still be welcomed as everyone is still trying to recover from the pandemic.
In today's sky-high fuel prices, nobody is indeed spared from this crisis, and we're going to need all the help we can get.