Pernia pushes fuel tax hike

October 20, 2018

Socioeconomic Secretary Ernesto Pernia wants the petroleum tax hike scheduled for next year to push through, after the latest report on oil futures forecast a softening of oil world crude prices in 2019.

“Maybe, it’s better if we don’t suspend it. We really have to study it seriously first,” he told reporters Thursday on the sidelines of the Philippine Business Conference and Expo.

Pernia shared his view on the planned temporary suspension of next year’s scheduled tax hike on fuel products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law in response to the rising prices of commodities and inflation in the country.

”We really need to study it seriously first… We can talk about it,” said Pernia, also Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Under the TRAIN law, an excise tax of P4.50 a liter will be imposed on diesel starting January next year from P2.50 a liter this year. This rate will further increase to P6 in 2020.

For gasoline, the levy will be raised to P9 a liter in 2019 and P10 in 2020 from P7 this year.

The government aims to use revenues from the implementation of the TRAIN law to fund infrastructure projects, education and healthcare services in the next five years.