By Mario Casayuran
The Duterte administration must be sensitive to the economic problems of the poorest of the poor in Philippine society by suspending the second round of excise tax on fuels scheduled early next year.
Such was stressed on Thursday by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, as the second round of the collection of additional excise tax on fuels under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) 1 begins January 1 next year.
Gatchalian said allowing a three-month suspension would allow the people have a breather from the year-long burden of paying increased excise taxes.
Suspension would also trigger a lower inflation, he said.
Economic managers told lawmakers that the inflation rate under the TRAIN measure would not breach the four percent level.
Inflation, however, peaked to 6.7 percent several months before November.
The November inflation rate went down to 6 percent.