Malacañang approves suspension of fuel excise tax increase in 2019

Aika Rey
(UPDATED) Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno says the suspension will be effective in the first quarter of 2019, and will be up for quarterly review

EXCISE TAX. The Philippine government will suspend the second round of the fuel excise tax hike as the country deals with soaring inflation. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Malacañang has approved the suspension of the P2- increase in fuel excise tax scheduled in January 2019, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced on Wednesday, November 14.

“I just got communication from the Executive Secretary that our proposal to temporarily suspend additional oil excise tax next year has been approved,” Diokno said in his weekly media briefing.

He said that suspension will be effective first quarter of 2019, and will be subject to quarterly review.

With the suspension of the fuel excise tax hike next year, Diokno said the government stands to lose P26 billion in foregone revenues, down from the original forecast of P41 billion.

“If we see that there is no need for it (suspension) at some point next year, then revenue loss will be less,” Diokno said.

In mid-October, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will suspend the second round of higher excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, in response to soaring inflation.

Under the TRAIN lawexcise tax on fuel would be increased from 2018 to 2020. But the law also states that tax increases may be suspended if Dubai crude oil prices average at $80 per barrel for 3 straight months.

The supposed increase in 2019 would have brought the total excise tax on gasoline from P7 to P9 per liter, and on diesel from P2.50 to P4.50 per liter. 

Last month, opposition senators filed a joint resolution seeking the suspension of the excise tax on fuel, citing world oil prices breaching $80 per barrel, and the scheduled additional P2-levy on fuel in January 2019. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.