Business: Suspend oil, electricity taxes


Business groups have urged for the suspension of oil and electricity even as they called on presidential candidates and other politicians to carefully consider their request amid rising consumer prices in the country.

“We understand the desire to bring relief to the public and offset rising inflation. However, instead of a blanket suspension or reduction in taxes, we urge them to consider tried and tested targeted measures to assist sectors and citizens who need it most,” the groups said in a statement.

According to the group, suspending both oil and electricity taxes will limit the drain on government revenue at a time when more than ever the government needs funds to fight COVID and accelerate job-creating economic recovery.

For example, on the oil tax, public utility vehicles account for only around 30 percent of total diesel consumption.

Therefore, they said, most of the benefit of a blanket suspension would go to people who don’t operate or use PUVs, as well as other oil consumers.

These are funds that the government could and should use on public services that would most benefit lower income and vulnerable Filipinos. Targeted measures such as subsidies to the transport sector would offset the impact of fuel price increases, allowing PUV operators to maintain a decent profit and take-home pay without raising prices on the commuting public.

The measures could also include other cash transfers to low-income communities and sectors, taking advantage of and further developing the 4Ps and SAP systems that are serving these communities and sectors through past and present crises.

Signing the petition are Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, GoNegosyo, Investment Houses Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Retailers Association, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association.

Source: Manila Bulletin (