Transport groups demand P6 per liter fuel discount

MANILA, Philippines – Transport groups are demanding a P6 per liter fuel discount for public utility vehicles (PUVs) due to the implementation of the tax reform law.

On Thursday, January 4, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) pointed out that excise tax on petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law would lead to more expensive fuel.

"Piston is against the TRAIN law which would lead to a higher increase in oil prices including diesel, which in turn would result in an additional hike because of the 12% value added tax (VAT)," Piston president George San Mateo said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"We are demanding to President [Rodrigo] Duterte, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to give PUVs, especially jeepneys, a fuel discount of P6 per liter across the board nationwide," he added.

San Mateo also said commuters would likely be spared from a fare hike if PUVs are given the P6 per liter fuel discount.

TRAIN was implemented last Monday, January 1. (READ: EXPLAINER: What's inside the bicam-approved tax reform bill?)

But the DOE clarified that higher oil prices do not apply to existing or old stocks of petroleum products. The impact is expected to be felt mid-January.

Under the tax reform law, diesel, which is not taxed at present, will be imposed P2.50 per liter tax in 2018, P4.50 in 2019, and P6 in 2020.

Gasoline, from the current tax of P4.35 per liter, would be imposed a levy of P7 per liter in 2018, P9 in 2019, and P10 in 2020.

In the coming days, Piston and the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition plan to hold protests to seek the suspension of the TRAIN implementation. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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