Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Gatchalian calls debt management higher priority than fuel excise freeze


A SENATOR tipped to chair the chamber’s Ways and Means Committee in the 19th Congress said he considers sovereign debt management more important than revenue-eroding measures like a suspension of fuel excise taxes, which would impair government efforts to reduce such debt.

“We have just recovered from the pandemic and we still have a lot of debt,” re-elected Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said in a statement over the weekend, noting that a large portion of the government’s expenses will go to debt incurred to purchase coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic vaccines.

“This must be prioritized to strengthen the so-called economic fundamentals and so that we can borrow even less if needed,” he added.

At the end of April, National Government debt was at a record P12.76 trillion, up 0.7% from the end of March.

However, Mr. Gatchalian said the Senate can still explore ways to relieve the burden of high fuel prices in hearings, adding he was open to allowing legislators pushing for the excise tax suspension to air their arguments.

“This is my perspective… I want to see if they have a different computation and analysis, so we can listen to it to know whether (their proposals) will help or not. We want to look at the situation as a whole,” he said.

The suspension of excise taxes on petroleum would result in as much as P131.4 billion in foregone revenue in 2022, reducing the funds available to support the recovery, the Department of Finance (DoF) has said.

In an Oct. 20 memorandum to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko recommended that the suspension of excise taxes on fuel products be “appropriately studied” as the foregone revenue “may affect the government’s budget for COVID-19 recovery measures.”

The senator has called for consultations to discuss the impact of higher fuel prices.

The Energy department has told legislators mechanisms should be set up under Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act to determine the cost breakdown of fuel. Mr. Gatchalian said it may take time to make oil prices more transparent through such an unbundling of costs.

As an immediate solution to the continuing oil price hike, the senator proposed an expansion of the cash aid program to P3,000 monthly for jeepney drivers and P1,000 monthly for tricycle drivers over the next five months.

He said this will cost about P4 billion, against the P150 billion in foregone revenue should the excise tax be suspended.

“We can also expand the Libreng Sakay (free ride) program of the government, so those who stop plying their routes or plying the roads can be contracted by (the) government to serve the riding public,” he added. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global...


Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded...


Heavy traffic is seen on the southbound lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s...


REUTERS THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected...


Vendors arrange their goods at a public market in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL A. PALMA THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to...

Editor’s Pick

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like


BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...


KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...


REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.