Cebu News

PISTON calls to remove oil taxes

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman
PISTON calls to remove oil taxes
Members of militant transport group PISTON gather in one of their protest actions in Cebu. The group says taxes in oil should be removed to stop oil price increases.

CEBU, Philippines — As another big oil price hike is expected to take effect today, June 18, the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON)-Cebu called on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to heed the years-long call of the drivers and the public for the removal of oil taxes to effect a big oil price rollback.

PISTON-Cebu president Greg Perez said in a statement that this is the most effective way to reduce oil prices, and to tame inflation.

Perez said that today a bigtime oil price hike will not only nullify the oil price reduction last week, but will effect another round of price increases.

He said that diesel prices are projected to increase by up to ?1.70, while gasoline by up to ?0.85, and kerosene by up to ?1.90 per liter.

“Oil prices have been giving drivers and the public at large a roller-coaster ride for the past months,” he said.

But as of June 11, total adjustment of gasoline and diesel stood at a net increase of ?6.05/liter and ?4.25/liter, respectively. Kerosene had a net decrease of ?1.55 per liter. The incoming oil price hikes will further increase prices.

Perez said that oil prices drive inflation rates as all goods and services, all industrial and agricultural products, both local and imported, are directly dependent on the prices of petroleum products.

“The government keeps on saying it has no control over the prices of imported oil. But the Arroyo-era Value Added Taxes and the Duterte-mandated Excise Taxes are all under the control of the government,” he said.

He cited that the reduction of tariff of imported rice from 35% to 15% shows that the government can reduce, if not remove taxes at will.

Perez said that the same can be done with VAT and Excise Tax on oil, to effect a big time price reduction in oil prices, and also to reduce the inflation rate.

He said if the price of diesel is ?55 per liter, the 12% VAT on diesel amounts to ?6 per liter, while the Excise Tax amounts to a fixed rate of ?6 per liter. Hence, diesel can be reduced by ?12, to become ?43 per liter.

“The deduction of oil taxes will thus mean not only lower fuel expenses and a higher income for drivers, but a lower production and transportation price for products such as rice,” he said. — (FREEMAN)

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