Escudero: Fuel taxes must help the poor

By Connie Calipay


Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero, who is seeking a Senate comeback, urged the government to channel all revenues from taxes on fuel to a more substantial aid package for struggling households, instead of granting them a proposed monthly allowance.


Escudero, in a statement, said Congress should pass a supplemental budget to ensure that revenue from the excise taxes, projected to reach P105.9 billion this year, would be used only for assistance to Filipinos most affected by oil price hikes.


“Since the government does not want to suspend the collection of excise taxes on petroleum, then the least it can do is provide financial assistance that will make a difference for poor families. Because P200 per month is nothing but a token for officials to be able to say they did something,” he said.


He said aside from the excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, the government collects a 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products.


From January and February, revenue from excess VAT was P3 billion, and it is projected to reach P20 billion this year with the Dubai crude oil prices pegged at USD100/barrel. Crude oil is now USD120/barrel. (PNA)