MANILA, Oct 12 (Mabuhay) — The government is expected to announce its “specific” plans and programs to address the soaring prices of fuel, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

REFUEL. Motorcycle riders line up to refuel at a gas station on Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City on Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2022). Oil companies have adjusted petroleum prices for diesel by PHP6.85 per liter and gasoline by PHP1.20 per liter starting Tuesday. (MNS photo)

This developed after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., during the 11th Cabinet meeting held at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday, looked into the persistent calls for the suspension of excise tax on petroleum products.

In a Palace press briefing, Press Secretary officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafil said Marcos and his Cabinet are eyeing several “options” to mitigate the impact of fuel price hikes on the public transport sector.

“Nagku-consider sila ng mga option and in time, mag-a-announce sila ng mga (They are considering options, and in time, they will announce) specific plans and programs to address that issue,” she said.

Garafil, however, did not give other details about the government’s plans.

Several transport groups on Sunday reiterated its plea for the government to suspend the collection of excise tax on petroleum products for three to four months.

The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines president Ricardo Rebaño said the suspension is a “win-win solution,” noting that it is a better solution than imposing another round of fare hike that will merely burden the commuters.

Following the signing of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN Law), the government is currently imposing an excise tax rate of PHP10 per liter for gasoline and PHP6 per liter for diesel.

Last week, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Leody Tarriela filed a bill aimed at cushioning the impact of high gasoline and diesel prices by applying progressive excise taxation on fuel.

Under Tarriela’s House Bill 3628, the excise tax shall gradually decrease as fuel prices increase.

The bill proposes that if the price per liter for unleaded premium gasoline is PHP50 or less, the excise tax shall be at PHP10. It shall gradually decrease by PHP1 for every PHP5 increase in per liter prices, until the excise tax reaches only PHP4 when the price per liter is PHP75 or higher.

For diesel, the excise tax is pegged at PHP6 if the price per liter is PHP50 or less.

The tax also decreases by 50-centavo increments, until it is only at PHP3, if the price per liter of diesel increases to PHP75 or higher. (MNS)