Palace defends economic team’s plan on oil tax hike

MANILA MalacaAang on Monday defended the decision of the Duterte administration's economic managers to proceed with the implementation of the second tranche of the oil excise tax increase scheduled for 2019, noting they have basis to make the proposal.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, said Senate could delay the passage of the proposed PHP3.757 trillion-national budget for 2019 if the PHP2-per-liter increase pushes through.

I'm sure the economic managers have basis to make that recommendation. They are competent and able to explain themselves to the lawmakers, Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo acknowledged that the process of the budget would depend on the call of members of the Congress and not on the President's decision.

However, he said Gatchalian is only one of the 24 senators who considered delaying the passage of the national budget.

You're only referring to one particular senator. His observation might not be shared by the 23 others, Panelo said.

Last week, economic managers recommended to proceed with the oil excise tax increase's second tranche despite initially recommending for its suspension.

They noted that oil prices in the world market have significantly decreased.

Panelo earlier said President Rodrigo R. Duterte will weigh the social costs of pushing through with the implementation of the second tranche of the oil excise tax increase and note the sentiments of Filipino consumers.

The recommendation to proceed with the second tranche is still subject to discussion in the next Cabinet meeting on December 4, Panelo said.

He also said Duterte will consider what is stipulated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency i