June 1, 2023

Following a continuous increase in prices over eight weeks, Baguio City Rep. Mark Go urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Oct. 26 to suspend the implementation of excise tax for fuel and petroleum products under the Train law.

In House Resolution 2320, Go recommended to immediately suspend the excise tax until fuel and petroleum prices stabilize and return to their August 2021 level.

The Train law states the excise tax on all petroleum products, including oil and fuel, will increase based on a staggered schedule from 2018 to 2020.

The Baguio solon maintained fuel and petroleum prices have steadily risen for nine weeks straight since Aug. 31, adding up to P8.40 per liter in gasoline, P9.15 per liter in diesel, and P8.65 in kerosene.

The relentless hikes have resulted in high fuel prices across the country, Go said.

“In Northern Luzon, particularly in Baguio City, the average new price per liter of unleaded gasoline is P68.75 and diesel at P54.16,” he said.

Similar prices have been observed in different regions: in Metro Manila, unleaded gasoline is sold at P67.50 per liter and diesel at P54.52, while unleaded gasoline in Legazpi City costs P64.38 per liter and diesel at P52.56 per liter.

In Cebu City and Zamboanga City, unleaded gasoline is as high as P65.24 and P67.59, while diesel costs P56.65 and P61.92, respectively.

Go said the exorbitant fuel prices and the increased cost of other basic goods will double the strain on Filipinos who have lost their jobs in the pandemic.

He added the suspension of excise taxes on fuel and petroleum will lessen the burden and financial strain on families and marginalized sectors amid the ongoing pandemic.

He cited National Economic Development Authority data, which placed the country’s unemployment rate at 8.1 percent as of August this year, equivalent to 3.9 million jobless Filipinos.

“Filipinos still continue to struggle with overwhelming financial difficulty and economic uncertainty in this health crisis. They are not equipped to handle this added burden in a challenging time,” Go said. – Press release