Gov't may slash to P10K aid to PUJ drivers if fuel excise tax suspension pushes through in 2019
The government may cut to P10,000 the fuel subsidy assistance that could be extended to each driver of public utility jeepneys if a suspension on excise tax on oil will push through next year, an official said on Wednesday.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Assistant Finance Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II said the administration is supposed to quadruple or to increase to P20,000 the aid to the drivers under the Pantawid Pasada program in 2019.
"But because we can't increase anymore the excise tax starting January 1 for the period that the increase (on fuel excise tax) is suspended...instead of quadrupling the amount, it will only be doubled," he said.
"So, instead of 5,000 (pesos), it will be 10,000-peso Pantawid Pasada grant for 2019," he said.
The government is planning to suspend the additional P2-excise tax on oil beginning January next year if the average Dubai crude oil price based on Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) for three months prior to the scheduled increase of the month reaches or exceeds $80 per barrel. This is provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
According to Lambino, the initial revenue impact for the full year if the fuel excise tax would be suspended would be a foregone revenue of P41.6 billion.
But due to the increase in the prices of oil, the government could collect a higher value-added tax.
"So our estimate at this time is 27-billion (peso lost) in terms of revenue impact," Lambino said. Celerina Monte/DMS