The Senate, when it resumes plenary sessions next week, is poised to consider a bill amending the National Internal Revenue Code to allow the automatic suspension of the excise tax on fuel provided for in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
In filing Senate Bill 1798, Sen. Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV proposed the adoption of a new provision in the TRAIN law under Section 148-B which states that “the imposition of excise tax on fuel under Republic Act 10963 [TRAIN] shall be automatically suspended when the average inflation rate for a three month period exceeds the annual inflation target range set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; provided, however, that the excise tax on fuel prior to the effectivity of RA 10963 shall remain in force during the period of suspension.”
Aquino’s bill adds that should the average inflation stabilize and fall below annual target for three consecutive months, the Department of Finance has the prerogative to lift the suspension and reimpose the excise tax on fuel based on its rate at the time of suspension.
“While we have little control over global fuel prices, the imposition of excise taxes is in our hands,” Aquino asserted, reminding fellow lawmakers that “it is our responsibility to be flexible and responsive when the weight of inflation becomes too heavy for the poor Filipino families to bear.”
Moreover, he pointed out that progress cannot be built “at the expense of hungry Filipinos with little opportunity to improve their day-to-day lives.”
“Our challenge is to strike a balance between our macroeconomic goals and providing relief and support to Filipinos with the least in our society, and with open minds, open hearts, creativity and innovation, I believe we can find that delicate balance and create a prosperous future for all,” Aquino added.