Rollbacks negligible; fuel tax removal more meaningful — IBON

October 10, 2023

by IBON Foundation

Recent oil price rollbacks barely offset the several weeks of hikes (mostly consecutive) that began in early July, said research group IBON. Instead of sitting idly by, the Marcos Jr administration can be proactive by getting rid of fuel taxes, which will lower oil prices and curb the domino effect on the already high prices of other goods and services that have hit many Filipinos hard.

IBON noted that from July 11 to October 10, there have been a total of 12 price hikes (of which 11 were consecutive) amounting to a Php17.70/liter increase for diesel; 11 hikes (of which 10 were consecutive) amounting to Php13.85/liter for gasoline; and 11 consecutive hikes amounting to Php15.45/liter for kerosene. But, in the same period, there were just 2 price rollbacks amounting to a Php2.65/liter decrease for diesel; 3 rollbacks amounting to Php3.45/liter for gasoline; and 3 rollbacks amounting to Php4.00/liter for kerosene. This means oil prices are still much higher now than on July 11: diesel is higher by Php15.05/liter, gasoline by Php10.40/liter and kerosene by Php11.95/liter.

The recent rollbacks are not likely to be sustained with the Department of Energy expecting oil price hikes to persist until the end of the year. IBON said that now is the time for government to make a more decisive and effective move to minimize fuel costs. By removing the excise and value-added taxes on oil products, the price of diesel would just be Php52.43/liter, gasoline Php47.24/liter, and kerosene Php63.96/liter.

IBON said that should the Marcos administration carry out the removal of fuel excise taxes, struggling Filipino families will have more money to cushion themselves from the increasing costs of their living expenses.