Substitute bill on “excise tax” reduction on petroleum products OK’d by House panel

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A SUBSTITUTE bill that sought the suspension or reduction of excise taxes on petroleum products was approved Thursday by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

During the committee hearing on Thursday morning, the Ways and Means panel approved the substitute bill, which was based on House Bill 10438 authored by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the chairman of the Lower House’s Ways and Means panel.

The bill pushes for “zero” excise tax on diesel, kerosene and LPG, a reduction to P4.35 of the excise tax for low-octane gasoline, but excise tax for premium gasoline shall remain at P10.

Once approved and becomes a law, it will be effective for six months.

Under the bill, there is also a provision for a “special fund” or Social Impact Stabilization Fund to be provided to sectors that will be heavily impacted by the oil price hikes.

However, the regular excise tax rates will go back to its original rate once the price of crude oil goes back to US$65 per barrel for four straight weeks.

It can be recalled that the Lower House called for the suspension on excise taxes on petroleum products due to the recent series of price hikes on petroleum products.

On the other hand, Rep. Salceda is hoping for a quick approval of the substitute bill, which will then be turned over to the Senate the soonest possible time, around third or fourth week of November.

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