Senator Bam Aquino urged the government to quickly address the latest increase in prices of goods due to Typhoon Usman and the projected rise in cost of petroleum products from the expected increase in fuel prices in the world market along with the additional excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
"Kailangang umaksyon agad ang gobyerno para maibsan itong bagong hataw ng taas-presyo ng bilihin at halaga ng produktong petrolyo sa ating mga kababayan," said Aquino, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.
"Kawawa ang mahihirap nating kababayan dahil sa dobleng hagupit ng bagyong Usman at dagdag-buwis sa petrolyo. Itigil muna natin ang pagpapatupad ng excise tax sa produktong petrolyo," he said.
The senator said the government should be sensitive to the plight of consumers and poor Filipinos, who are expected to carry the additional burden of high prices of goods due to the latest levy on oil products under the TRAIN Law. "Hindi pa bumababa yung presyo ng bilihin, tinira na kaagad iyong pagtaas ng petrolyo. Panibagong pasanin na naman ito para sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mahihirap," said Aquino, referring to the government's decision to implement the second tranche of excise tax under the TRAIN Law.
"Hindi dapat pinapatawan ng buwis ang petrolyo dahil hindi natin kontrolado ang presyo nito," he stressed, adding that the country's inflation rate remains far from the government's inflation rate target of 2-4 percent range.
Aquino's reaction came amid the reported increase in prices of vegetable and other agricultural products after the onslaught of Typhoon Usman and the expected increase in fuel prices with the implementation of the second tranche of excise tax on fuel.
Aquino said the passage of his Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill will help ease the burden of Filipinos as it suspends and rolls back excise tax on fuel once the country's inflation rate exceeds the government's target for three straight months.
The senator filed the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill in May 2018.
Photo from GMA News Online