MANILA, Philippines — Some lawmakers are still unconvinced with the controversial excise tax on petroleum products provision of the administration’s proposed Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Bill.
They insist that such provision will affect the prices of goods in the country.
“Yung (the) tax, as it affects price, that is something na mas in-control ng isang gobyerno (that the government has more control of),” Senator Risa Hontiveros said.
Based on the proposal, the additional revenue to be collected will be returned to the public in a form of subsidy.
One example if the cash transfer program, wherein the target beneficiaries are 10 million households.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioned this huge number given the past experience of the implementation of conditional cash transfer program under the previous administration.
“To the 4 million beneficiaries [it] was a nightmare and was subjected to a lot of criticisms about non-poor getting it, about political favors,” Drilon said.
Despite this, the Department of Finance (DOF) says the government is ready to implement measures to support sectors that might be affected by additional excise tax on fuel.
“Although there are concerns in some sectors we feel that they can be managed, and we are ready to provide subsidies and social mitigating measures to the sectors who will be affected,” DOF Undersecretary Karl Chua said.
Regarding the passage of the tax reform package, according to Committee on Ways and Means chairman, Sen. Sonny Angara, it is possible that they may come up with a compromised agreement.
“Parang(it seems they are) willing silang i-trade (to trade) yung (the) sugar sweetened beverages, pero in full itong ipapasa itong fuel (but the passage of the fuel will be in full),” Angara said.
The committee of Sen. Angara targets to approve the proposal in the committee level before the end of the year. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
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