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Senate Energy Committee Pushes Another Round of Fuel Subsidies

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The Senate Committee on Energy is pushing another round of the government program that issues fuel subsidies to the sectors that are heavily impacted by the continuous oil price hikes in the country.

The motion was suggested to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) after a consultative meeting by the Senate committee on energy was held Tuesday.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the chairperson of the Senate committee on energy, said that the database for continuing the fuel subsidy program “Pantawid Pasada” is already in place.

“I’ve heard earlier that the database is in place considering that they have already distributed this various times,” Gatchalian said.

He said further that the LTFRB should be “more expeditious,” still talking about the fuel subsidy program.

“We’re calling LTFRB to be more expeditious in terms of the distribution,” Gatchalian added.

Senate committee on energy Senator Imee Marcos agreed that suspending fuel excise tax is not feasible at the moment, and instead called on the Senate to revisit Republic Act (RA) 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law.

This echoes the suggestion of the Department of Energy.

Moreover, Senator Gatchalian said that he will propose a PHP3,000 monthly fuel subsidy which will run for the next five months, adding that his recommendation will be an expansion of the current “Pantawid Pasada” program of the government, and will be cheaper than removing the excise tax.

Gatchalian’s recommendation will cost the government PHP4 billion, while the suspension of the excise tax means a loss of over PHP150 billion for the government. (GFB)

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