Amid oil price hikes, Lacson calls for review of TRAIN 2

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Amid oil price hikes, Lacson calls for review of TRAIN 2
Presidential bet Panfilo "Ping" Lacson addresses his supporters during the launch of his presidential bid at his hometown in Imus, Cavite on Feb. 8, 2022.
Lacson-Sotto campaign team

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said the government should review the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN Law), which provides details on the excise taxes of petroleum products, as the country experienced another round of increases in pump prices due to tight global supply. 

The excise tax on gasoline currently stands at P10 per liter, P6 per liter for diesel and P5 per liter for kerosene.

Under the TRAIN, the suspension mechanism for excise taxes lapsed in December 2020, according to Lacson. The mechanism says the state would be "automatically" prompted to halt the collection of such taxes if oil prices reach $80 per barrel in the international market. 

"We need to revisit the TRAIN 2, particularly that provision. [Let's] remove the time period. There should be no deadline," Lacson said in Tagalog on DZRH TV on Wednesday. 

According to the TRAIN, the fuel excise taxes on various petroleum products took effect in three tranches beginning 2018. 

The excise tax on gasoline currently stands at P10 per liter, P6 per liter for diesel, and P5 per liter for kerosene.

Lacson, who is running for president in this year's elections, has joined calls to suspend excise taxes amid the sustained high prices of oil in the global market partly driven by the geopolitical war between Ukraine and Russia. 

Sen. Imee Marcos, who handles her chamber's economic affairs committee, previously said, however, that suspending excise taxes would take a longer time to do compared with rolling out more fuel subsidies for affected sectors.

Earlier, the Department of Energy said the state has doubled fuel subsidies in its two programs — the Pantawid Pasada and the rollout of fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk- to P6.1 billion in a bid to help affected sectors cope with the high oil prices. 

On Wednesday, Lacson said that doubling the fuel subsidies "amid the spiraling prices of oil is the right thing to do as allowed under a special provision in the 2022 General Appropriations Act which seeks to contain inflation."

Lacson added that the distribution of fuel subsidies should not be tainted with corruption nor have any administrative lapses. 

If he wins the presidency, the Partido Reporma standard bearer envisions an administration of good governance and one free of corruption.

Pump prices rose for the tenth straight time this week. Several local oil firms announced that gasoline rose by P3.60 per liter; diesel went up by P5.85 per liter; and that kerosene climbed by P4.10 per liter.




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