June 18, 2018, 11:32 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06887 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.14715 Hong Kong Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 1.27862 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.20139 Iraqi Dinar
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 148.88431 Sierra Leone Leone
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.08861 Turkish Lira
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.56497 Taiwan Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 United States Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 148.13426 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1496.34352 Venezuelan Bolivar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.04811 Samoa Tala
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Tax woes on fuel far from over

By JED MACAPAGAL and JP LOPEZ

Amid calls for the rollback in the excise taxes on fuel, the  Petroleum Association of the Philippines (PAP)  is seeking clarification on the second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) which will revamp  the incentive system of  the industry.

This developed as oil companies have agreed to give discounts and to widen their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to support the transportation sector as well as those who are  marginalized  by  the impact of rising oil prices.

Edward Benedict Cutiongco, PAP vice president, said the group has sought an audience with the Department of Finance (DOF) to clarify some provisions of TRAIN 2 which would repeal Sections 12, 21 and 22 of  Presidential Decree 87, a  law that  gives perks in order to promote the discovery and production of indigenous petroleum.

Section 12 allows contractor of oil and gas explorations with exemption from all taxes except income tax; exemption from payment of tariff duties and compensating tax on the importation of machinery and equipment, and spare parts and all materials required for petroleum operations.

Section 21 provides oil and gas explorers with deduction from gross income. In computing the taxable net income, deductions are allowed for Filipino participation incentive and operating expenses reimbursed which includes amortization and depreciation.

Section 22 provides  that intangible exploration costs may be deductible in full and that all tangible exploration costs such as capital expenditures and other recoverable capital assets are to be depreciated for a period of 10  years.

 Meanwhile, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement oil companies will formalize their support for the transport sector through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DOE. 

At present, public utility vehicles (PUVs) avail of a P1 per liter discount under an existing MOA between the DOE and three oil firms.

Cusi said the DOE is closely coordinating with the DOF to discuss new measures concerning the excise tax and value-added tax on oil as a result of the implementation of the TRAIN Law.

The  DOE is also  working with the Department of Transportation for the swift implementation of Section 82 of the TRAIN Law on fuel vouchers for PUVs aside from pursuing the unbundling of fuel prices.

 Meanwhile, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino III yesterday called for the immediate rollback of excise tax on fuel , saying next year is too late.

“We welcome the openness of Malacanang to the suspension of additional excise taxes in 2019, but this is too little, too late,” Aquino said.

Aquino filed Senate Bill No. 1798 to restore a  safeguard mechanism,  which was removed in the final version of TRAIN, allowing the suspension of the excise tax on fuel based on inflation. 

Under the TRAIN law, the excise tax on fuel would be suspended if the average Dubai crude based on Mean of Platts Singapore  for three months prior to the scheduled increase of the month reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel.

Under Aquino’s proposal, when inflation exceeds the target range for three consecutive months, the excise tax on fuel will be rolled back.

The inflation rate when the tax reform package was passed in December was at 2.9 percent. When the TRAIN law was implemented in January, inflation shot up to 3.4 percent. On February, inflation hit 3.8 percent, which is well within the target range of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipoinas of 2 to  4 percent.

However, the inflation rate breached the 4-percent range to 4.3 percent in March and accelerated  further to 4.5 percent last month.

“This is the second month that the inflation rate breached the target range set by BSP,” Aquino said.
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