Zamboanga regional council committee calls for suspension of fuel excise tax

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THE ECONOMIC development committee (EDC) of the Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Development Council (RDC-9) has passed a resolution urging President Rodrigo R. Duterte to suspend the imposition of the excise tax on petroleum products and coal. EDC Chairperson Pedro Rufo N. Soliven said during the group’s recent meeting in Isabela City, Basilan that the May inflation rate of 4.6% is largely due to the excise tax on petroleum products and coal under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that took effect in January. “Under this act, fuel products such as gasoline will be levied additional excise tax,” Mr. Soliven said in an e-mail message forwarded to BusinessWorld. This, he added, “resulted in spike increases of prices in other basic commodities.” Mr. Soliven, also the president of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc., pointed out that the EDC resolution has “legal basis in Section 5 of the revenue Regulation No. 2-2018, for the period covering 2018 to 2020. Earlier, the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association Inc. also warned of a price increase for canned sardines in the market following the power rate hike in the city brought about by the implementation of the TRAIN law. — Albert F. Arcilla

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