DAVAO CITY , Philippines — A militant lawmaker on Thursday wants to scrap the regressive provisions of the TRAIN law and not just suspending the excise tax on oil in an attempt to weaken the impact of continued high prices of basic commodities, especially on food items.
“What the poor is demanding is the scrapping of regressive provisions of the TRAIN law, especially the excise tax on oil products, triggering skyrocketing of prices especially food items,” Anakpawis Partylist Representative Ariel Casilao said in a statement.
Casilao’s statement came amid the government’s pronouncement that the implementation of the tranche 2 excise tax on oil products next year, as provisioned by the Republic Act No. 10963 or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, will be suspensed as public clamor mounts, calling for its suspension.
But Casilao called the suspension as “misleading” because it neglected the catastrophic socio-economic impact on poor sectors of the first tranche imposition of the excise tax.
The suspension of the second tranche next year is the administration’s very own admission of the calamitous impact of the TRAIN law in the country. The implementation triggered broad people’s protest and condemnation leading to the presidency’s dwindling trust ratings, according to Casilao.
“This administration is so terrified that it was compelled to fabricate the sham ‘Red October,’ which is now they declare was moved to December, and its suspension of the excise tax imposition next year, was actually a desperate measure, as we all know, the first quarter is very crucial, when majority of the poor are totally drained of means of livelihood, and historically, the people power protests were carried out on a February and January,” he said.
Casilao also said the imposition of P2.50 excise tax per liter of diesel, and P7 per liter of gasoline remains, and what was actually suspended was increasing it to P4.50 and P9, respectively.
In 2010, about 1.3 billion liters of diesel were used for transport, and another 1.1 billion liters for machineries and equipment, thus, imposing the excise tax would roughly add P6 billion to the costs of production.
“The added costs in production, are obviously passed on the consumers via surged levels of prices, it is elementary that we are facing unabated inflation rate hikes, meaning, the root of the crisis was the first tranche of the TRAIN law imposition of excise tax, not the forthcoming second tranche next year,” Casilao added.(davaotoday.com)