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Bam pushes for suspension of excise tax on fuel: Pamasko na sa Pinoy ‘yan!

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The suspension of excise tax on fuel will be the Duterte government’s advanced Christmas gift to Filipinos.

Senator Bam Aquino made the remark on Thursday adding that the increase in “self-rated” poverty proves the need to suspend the excise tax on fuel to address soaring inflation.

“Seventy four days na lang po, Pasko na!” said Aquino, a member of the Senate minority bloc.

“Ito na siguro ang pinakamagandang regalo na maibibigay natin sa pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.

The opposition senators– composed of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and Aquino– on Wednesday filed Senate Joint Resolution No. 15 seeking the suspension of excise tax.

In their joint resolution, the minority senators raised the need for the urgent intervention of Congress to mitigate the inflationary effects of rising fuel prices by suspending the increases in excise tax on fuel under Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Aquino has urged the Senate majority bloc to support the

minority’s call to suspend the excise tax under the TRAIN Law and rollback the tax on fuel to December 31, 2017 rates.

“Kailangan na natin umaksyon. Solusyunan natin ang krisis sa presyo para tulungan ang mga naghihirap na pamilya,” he said.

In its third quarter survey, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) noted an increase in self-rated poverty in September to 52 percent or 12.2 million families.

This is four points higher than the 48 percent or 11.1 million families in June 2018.

“Huwag na nating antayin na ma-certify urgent ito. Umaksyon na po tayo nang kusa,” Aquino said.

“Kung kailangang mag-special session tayo sa Senado habang may session break, gawin na po natin ito,” he said.

He added that a “collective action” of the Senate will send a clear message to Malacanang on the stand of the upper chamber to ease the burden of Filipinos, especially the poor, from the high prices of food and other goods.

“This is a chance to show in word and in action that the Senate wishes to ease the burden of our countrymen and remove the excise tax on petroleum products,” he said.

Aquino filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill as early as May 10, 2018, seeking to suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate breaches the annual inflation target over a three-month period.