MAJOR transport groups on Sunday proposed to the economic managers of the Duterte administration the review of the planned imposition of a P6 excise tax on petroleum products under the tax reform package.
Lawyer Vigor Mendoza II, a former party-list representative and now chairman of Kilusan sa Pagbabago sa Industriya ng Transportasyon, raised concern over adverse effects of the additional fuel tax on top of the 12-percent value-added tax on commuters.
“The cost of transportation would go up as part of a domino effect,” he said.
Because of the added excise tax, the public transport sector is left with no option but to ask for a P10 minimum fare for the first four kilometers from the current P8 minimum fare, he said.
“Just to give you more statistics per the University of the Philippines National Center for Transport Studies, 52 percent of the drivers in Metro Manila take home P200 to P400 per day. If you increase the excise tax by P6, this means a reduced take-home by P120 to P180 per day,” Mendoza told the Manila Standard.
“Take-home pay will drop to P80 to P220 per day, or by 45 percent to 60 percent.”
The public, not only the transport sector and its stakeholders, would have to bear the brunt of the P6 excise tax if an enabling bill is passed at the Senate and House of Representatives, he said.
Transport modernization could not even cushion the impact of the added tax, he said.
“Jeepney modernization will not cut it [impact] as government cannot fund everything on the first day. The provincial drivers are worse off as their income levels are [much] lower. What do we say to these drivers?” he asked.
“We in the transport sector are also calling on our lawmakers both from Congress and Senate to carefully examine and evaluate the proposed P6 excise tax on diesel and gasoline.”
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government needed additional revenues to finance various infrastructure programs that could cost from P8 trillion to P9 trillion during President Rodrigo Duterte’s six years in office.
One of the revenue-generating measures was to impose a P6 excise tax that would cover diesel used by most passenger buses and jeepneys as well as cooking gas and bunker fuel for generating electricity.