President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the awarding ceremony for the 2017 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC), at the Malacañan Palace on December 5, 2018. Also in the photo are Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (December 5) appeased public concerns on the impact of the administration’s tax reforms.
“Do not be so sad about being taxed,” he said in a speech during the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) in Malacañang.
“Your money here during my term is safe. I will not allow corruption. I have fired so many Cabinet members for just an infraction,” the President said.
On Tuesday (December 4), the President approved the proposal for the government to proceed with the second tranche of oil tax hikes in 2019.
This, despite calls to suspend its implementation in view of a possible rise in inflation next year.
Economic managers of the Duterte Administration projected in October that the price of Dubai crude oil would hit the threshold of $80 per barrel.
However, its price dropped in November prompted a series of roll backs in local oil prices and the decision to suspend the implementation of next year’s oil tax hike.
Now that it is given the green light, the second tranche of additional excise tax on oil under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, will add P2.24/liter for gasoline and diesel.
This is broken down to P2.00 excise tax plus P0.24 value added tax (VAT).
The additional levy on oil products will take effect on January 1, 2019.
The (TRAIN) Law has been criticized for causing a shoot up in inflation which in October hit a nine-year high of 6.7%.
Inflation eased to 6% in November which the government took credit for as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said: “We attribute this to the President’s empathy to public clamor and his decisive action in response thereto, which includes the issuance of Administrative Order No. 13 to streamline procedures on the importation of agricultural products, including rice, as well as Memorandum Order (MO) Nos. 26, 27, and 28 to stabilize the prices of agriculture and fishery products at reasonable levels and maintain their sufficient supply in our markets.” – Marje Pelayo