DA describes price hike in basic goods due to TRAIN a ‘mere speculation’
Marje Pelayo • May 31, 2018 • 5751
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol gathered on Thursday, May 31, various agriculture stakeholders to discuss reports of an increase in prices of basic goods.
Based on their discussions, Piñol said there is actually no reason for a price hike in basic crops and goods even with the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Citing farm producers, Piñol said it is unreasonable for market vendors to increase their prices when they buy from farmers and producers at a cheaper price.
The Secretary added that there is no shortage of supply of fish, vegetables and basic farm products to justify a price increase. Also, based on the agency’s calculation, the TRAIN only affects the price of basic commodities by less than 1% only.
Piñol believes that some dealers or middlemen are taking advantage of the implementation of TRAIN Law to manipulate market prices.
“The movement of the prices right now in the market is more likely caused by mere speculation than anything else,” Piñol said.
DA will form a technical working group to study and create a list of suggested retail prices (SRP) for agricultural products such as rice, fish, and crops.
Piñol said the SRP will give the government the authority to penalize those who violate its implementation.
“The intention of the President is first, protect our consumers and second is to protect the producers,” he said.
Whoever is found guilty of profiteering shall be penalized with P1,000 to P1-million pesos fine. — Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to create a task force that will closely monitor the implementation of the new round of increases in excise tax on fuel.
Gatchalian made the call as the third and last tranche of tax hikes on petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law took effect on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
He said that under the TRAIN Law, the estimated rate impact on pump price for unleaded premium gasoline would be around ₱1.01 per liter, while the estimated rate impact of the third tranche of the excise tax on diesel price is ₱1.65 per liter.
For 100 percent coal contracted power distribution utilities, the estimated rate impact is around ₱0.03 per kilowatt hour.
The senator said the creation of the task force is aimed to protect consumers from premature price increases and profiteering.
“Kailangan paigtinging mabuti ng Department of Energy (DOE) ang pagbabantay laban sa hoarding at profiteering sa bansa ngayong nakaamba ang dagdag na excise tax sa huling pagkakataon,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“Huwag na nating hayaan ang ilang mapagsamantalang retailers na ibenta sa mataas na halaga ang kanilang mga lumang imbentaryong produkto, gayong nabili nila ito bago pa man maimplementa ang third tranche ng excise tax sa fuel,” he added.
Gatchalian noted that local oil companies maintain a minimum inventory equivalent to 15-day supply of petroleum products as provided under DOE’s Department Circular No. 2003-01-001 or the Implementing Guidelines for the Minimum Inventory Requirements of Petroleum of Oil Companies and Bulk Suppliers.
The DOE earlier said the new round of fuel tax hikes are only applicable to new stocks imported beginning January 1, 2020. It also advised oil firms to deplete old stocks before implementing new price schemes reflecting the new levies.
Gatchalian also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor the prices of goods in the market in order to ensure that unscrupulous businessmen will not take advantage and pass on the impact of higher oil prices to consumers as a result of the third tranche of the TRAIN law implementation.
“Mabigat na sa bulsa ng bawat isa ang pagpataw ng excise tax sa krudo. Sana naman ay huwag na natin dagdagan ang pasanin ng taong bayan sa pamamagitan ng hindi makatarungang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation announced on Monday (December 30) on its official Facebook page that it has already distributed to more than 100,000 legitimate jeepney operators another round of fuel subsidy under the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP).
Each operator received Php20,514.76, deposited to their Pantawid Pasada Cash card which they or their driver can use in purchasing fuel.
In total, the government has distributed more than Php2.2-Billion subsidy to jeepney operators nationwide.
The transport group, Pasang Masda, undermined the said government aid saying that such is not enough for the drivers and operators to recover from the effects of the additional excise tax on petroleum prices brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said a driver spends between Php1,500 and 2,000 every day for diesel.
Although the group admitted that the PPP aid could be of help to their sector, its effect on their expenditures is very minimal.
“So ilang araw lang yun? 10 days lang yun. So pagkatapos nun nganga ang driver. Tulong rin ito pero pansamantala lang,” he said.
The group believes that the only solution for them to recover from the heavy effect of the excise tax on petroleum products is the implementation of a fare hike on jeepneys.
The group, along with other transport groups, plans to file their petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in January 2020 which seeks to have the minimum jeepney fare raised to Php11.00.
The group clarified, however, that they are not opposed to the implementation of the TRAIN Law, as they see the benefits it brings to the government’s Build, Build, Build Program.
This early, the group seeks the commuting public’s understanding amid the impending filing of petition for a fare increase.
“Unawain nyo po ang aming katatayuan sapagkat kayo po ay inuunawa naming. Ayaw namin magtaas, subalit diktado ng pandaigdigang merkado yung pagtaas ng presyo ng petroleum products,” Martin said. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the rollback on petroleum products, there will be a new excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
As stated in the law, there will be a P2.24 per liter price hike on gasoline and diesel; P1.12 per liter increase on kerosone; and P1.12 per kilo on LPG.
However, the Department of Energy has reminded all oil companies that they need to consume their petroleum stocks in 2018 before the implementation of the excise tax.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been monitoring the oil stocks of oil companies since September to ensure that these will not be set with the excise tax in 2019.
Oil companies need to declare in a signage if they are already implementing the excise tax.
“Inuubos muna nila ang mga old inventories bago mag impose ng new excise tax. Ibig sabihin kapag meron ng new excise tax dapat yung mga gasoline stations din may naka-post silang tarpaulin na nagsasabi na ang binebenta nilang petroleum products as of the moment ay may new excise tax na,” said Oil Industry Bureau Assistant Director Rodela Romero.
The second tranche of excise tax was approved during the price drop of petroleum products in world market.
In 2018, there are more price increase compared to price rollback in diesel and gasoline.
A consumer group believes that poor Filipinos will not be able to bear the new tranche of excise tax on petroleum products in 2019.
For those who can pay the excise tax such as businessmen, the excise tax can be regain through the price hike of prime commodities which will further burden poor Filipinos.
“Ang aming pagtutol dito hindi ito equitable at ito’y hindi progressive taxation sa madaling salita anti-poor po,” said Laban Konsyumer Group President Vic Dimagiba.
The consumer group appeals to the the new Congress to check TRAIN Law after elections.
“Mayroong eleksyon, may bagong Kongreso. Magandang balikan ng bagong kongreso itong TRAIN law. Itong bago ‘di natin alam, puwede nilang repasuin ang TRAIN law para hindi ito anti-poor,” said Dimagiba. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue
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