Amid fuel price hikes, Duterte okays P200 monthly ‘ayuda’ for poor households

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendations to retain fuel excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law and to provide a P200 monthly subsidy to poor households, Malacañang said.

“Inaprubahan ng pangulo ang dalawang rekomendasyon ng Department of Finance (DOF) kaugnay sa pagtaas ng fuel price,” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said during a televised briefing Wednesday.

In his report to Duterte during yesterday’s Talk to the People address, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the suspension of excise taxes on petroleum products will only benefit the wealthy Filipinos.

“The top 10 percent of income earners in the Philippines consume almost 50 percent of all the fuel. In other words, if we look at the bottom 50 percent of the Philippines, they only consume 13 percent of the fuel,” explained Dominguez.

“So cutting the tax will benefit more the people who have cars and the other richer people. We will not be benefitting so much the bottom 50 percent of our population, that will make it very inequitable,” he furthered.

The DOF chief noted that suspending the fuel excise tax will reduce the total government revenues to P105.9 billion in 2022.

The targeted subsidy plan, on one hand, will only require P33.1 billion in budgetary requirements, said Dominguez.

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