By Ellson A. Quismorio
That probably best summarized Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate’s sentiments regarding the impending passage of the tax reform measure being pushed by the administration.
In particular, it’s the projected hike on prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – a common purchase among most households – that gives Zarate that hurtful feeling.
He underscored that under the proposed House Bill (HB) No.5636 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), LPG prices will also be subjected to the so-called 3-2-1 excise tax on fuel.
“Sa LPG pa lang ay ang laki na ng itataas nito. Sa HB 5636 tataasan ng P3 excise tax ang kada litro ng LPG pagpasok ng 2018. Dadagdagan pa ng P2 sa 2019 at P1 pa sa 2020,” said Zarate, a member of the Makabayan bloc. (LPG prices alone will have a huge increase. Under HB 5636, every liter of LPG will be slapped with an excise tax of P3 this coming 2018. Another P2 will be added in 2019 and P1 more in 2020.)
Used as cooking fuel, LPG is usually sold in 11-kilogram cylindrical tanks.
“Kaya sa 2018 ay madadagdagan ng P64.68 ang P541 11-kg LPG ngayon, at ito ay magiging P605.68 na. Sa 2019 naman ay P648.8 na at P670.36 sa 2020,” added the Davao-based solon. (In 2018, P64.68 will be added to the price of a P549, 11-kilogram tank making it P605.68. In 2019, it will be P648.8 and P670.36 in 2020.)
These local price levels for LPG were last seen in 2008 when world crude prices reached an all-time high of $145.31 in July 2008.
Zarate warned of a domino effect from the LPG price hike.
“Sa ganitong pangyayari ay magiging pabigat sa mga nanay at siguradong magmamahal din ang mga pagkain sa mga karinderya at maging sa mga restaurant,” he said. (This will surely give homemakers a tougher time and make the prices of food at canteens and restaurants more expensive.)
The tradeoff being promised by TRAIN from the inevitable fuel hike is lowered income taxes, among other things.
The House leadership wants to pass the measure on third and final reading by May 24, or a week before the sine die adjournment of Congress.