Freeze oil tax

October 09, 2018

AS the long holiday season approaches, the suffering Filipino people face prospects of even higher prices of basic goods, particularly rice, sugar and other food items, and services.

But it is certainly good to know that there is now a snowballing move in the House of Representatives, spearheaded by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, to address the problem.

Barbers has filed House Bill (HB) No. 8369 which seeks to suspend the excise tax on petroleum products imposed under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Prices of fuel have increased significantly and will be much higher on the next tranche of implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 10963, otherwise known as the TRAIN law, he said.

“The increase in fuel prices affects the prices of basic goods and services as producers or manufacturers may pass production costs to consumers,” according to Barbers.

The skyrocketing prices of goods and services across this impoverished nation of more than 100 million people is one problem that worries everybody, notably the poor and jobless.

Although he acknowledged that the TRAIN law gives relief to taxpayers by lowering personal income tax rates, the burden falls heavily on the shoulders of minimum wage earners.

“Ramdam na ramdam nila ang bigat ng pagtaas ng lahat ng presyo ng bilihin dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis,” lamented the hard-working solon from Surigao del Norte in Mindanao.

As Barbers said, it is the duty of the country’s legislators -- senators and congressmen -- to hear the cry of the poor, who comprise the bulk of the Philippine population.

Let’s then listen to the grievances of the poorest of the poor at this time of economic hardship.