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Isang tawag lang sa Kongreso ‘yan: Drilon urges Duterte to use political clout to suspend excise tax on fuel

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Senator Frank Drilon hopes President Rodrigo Duterte would use his “political clout” in Congress to suspend the excise tax on fuel to address the soaring inflation.

The inflation reached 6.7 percent in September from 6.4 percent in August.

Some sectors partly blame the excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law for the continued rise in the prices of basic goods.

Drilon said the President can ask the Senate and the House of Representatives (HoR) to pass a resolution suspending the excise tax.

“Iyan naman ay p’wedeng suspendihin. Humingi siya ng resolution of both houses of Congress at maibibigay kaagad ‘yan,” he said in a radio interview.

“Mayroon naman siyang enough political clout in both houses of Congress to pass a joint resolution,” the Senate minority leader said.

Drilon added, “Yung joint resolution po pwede. Kaya po iyan in one day. Iyan po ang dapat munang tingnan at iyan ang makakapagpababa ng presyo ng pangunahing bilihin.”

Asked to comment on the economic managers’ hesitance to suspend the excise tax, Drilon said, “Hindi siguro nila nararamdaman ‘yung hirap ng taumbayan kaya iyan po ang kanilang attitude.”

“Pero sa akin ay mali po iyan at dapat pong suspendihin ang excise tax sa petrolyo,” the senator from Iloilo said.

“Iyan naman po ay nakalagay sa batas, although ang nakalagay ay tatlong buwan ang hihintayin natin na nasa $80 bawat barrel ang presyo ng langis,” he said.

Drilon added, “Pero siguro hindi na dapat hintayin pa iyan dahilan sa may kapangyarihan ang Pangulo na suspendihin ang pagtaas ng excise tax dahilan sa presyo ng langis.”

“Pangalawa, dapat punuin ang merkado ng bigas dahilan marami sa ating mga mahihirap ay malaki ang ginagastos para sa bigas,” he said.

“Let us flood the market with rice. Alisin na yung licensing power ng NFA (National Food Authority) para lahat ay pwede nang mag-import ng bigas,” he said.