Lawmakers’ solutions to rising oil prices

TWO House of Representatives lawmakers on Friday proposed strategies to help mitigate the effects of soaring petroleum product prices as oil companies raised the cost of diesel by 3.10 pesos per liter and gasoline by 0.80 pesos per liter on Tuesday for the third consecutive year. the week.

House Vice Speaker and Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab is pushing for the reallocation of part of the budget to fund his proposed Transportation Cash Grant, or “Transpo Ayuda,” which would go to public utility vehicle drivers and other groups who have been hard hit by rising oil prices, such as farmers and fishermen.

“The government could look into the possibility of shelving some projects and reallocating part of the budget to be used as cash grants, or for Transpo Ayuda, for our kababayan (citizens) to get help during this crisis,” Ungab said. .

It is in line with President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s goal of providing direct support, or ayuda, to mitigate the effects of continued rising oil prices.

While several groups have called for the suspension of the collection of excise duties and value added tax (VAT), Ungab advised against doing so as the government could lose a significant amount of funds.

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“The option to suspend taxes should be on a case-by-case basis. It is necessary to study the proposal, otherwise the government may run out of funds, which could cause a huge problem,” Ungab said.

For his part, Quezon Third District Representative Reynante Arrogancia offered three possible responses to the rising price of oil: suspend the collection of all fuel excise taxes for 90 days; continue to collect but give billions in targeted aid; or a combination of both.

Arrogancia cited US President Joseph Biden’s June 22 statement, in which he urged the US Congress to suspend the federal gasoline tax for three months and states to provide direct relief, whether by suspending their own gas taxes or helping consumers in other ways.

“Another option is that instead of suspending fuel excise taxes for 90 days, I suggest that 27 billion pesos from revenue be spent on targeted subsidies that will directly benefit poor, low-income workers and households. income or lower middle income. This is what I mean by targeted subsidies,” Arrogancia pointed out.

“Another option is a combination of the above two solutions apart from or in addition to the fuel excise tax suspension for 90 days,” he added.

The net increase for the year was adjusted to P29.50/litre for petrol, P44.25/litre for diesel and P39.65/litre for kerosene.

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