Sen. Bam Aquino urged the government to support initiatives that aim to stop excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, saying time is running out as lawmakers have just 15 session days remaining for 2018.
“Wala nang panahon. 47 days na lang ay Pasko na at mayrooon na lang labing-limang session days para maisulong ang ating panukala, pati na ang resolusyon ng minorya at sulat ng mayorya ukol sa pag-alis ng excise tax sa petrolyo,” said Sen. Bam.
“Nagkakaisa ang Senado sa hangaring mapababa ang presyo ng petrolyo at bilihin para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan na nahihirapan na sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill last May while minority senators filed Joint Resolution No. 15 calling for the suspension and rollback of excise tax on fuel. Majority lawmakers, for their part, wrote President Duterte asking to suspend excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law.
Congress will resume session on Monday (Nov 12), and will end its session on Dec. 12 (Wednesday).
“Bigyan natin ng konting ginhawa ang mga mahihirap na nalulunod sa taas presyo,” Sen. Bam emphasized, adding that suspending excise tax on fuel under TRAIN Law is the best Christmas gift that the government can give to the Filipino people.
“Pamasko niyo na po sa mahihirap ang pagtanggal ng TRAIN sa petrolyo. Galaw-galaw na po, magpa-Pasko na,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.
The only measure in the Senate that seeks to amend the TRAIN Law, Senate Bill No. 1798 aims to add a safeguard to ensure the suspension in the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate surpasses the government’s inflation target for three consecutive months.
According to Sen. Bam, removing the excise tax on fuel would not only bring down prices of fuel, but also prices of fares, food and other goods in the market.
Sen. Bam added that removing the excise tax on petroleum would translate to additional P87 per day income for public utility drivers (PUV), which they can use to purchase two kilos of rice for their family.