Groups who protested oil price hikes today said the Duterte government can do one of two things: remove the excise tax on oil products or remove the 12% VAT on oil.

Groups protested the ricing prices of oil products along España Boulevard in Manila Today. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.

The demand is addressed to both the executive and Congress in the light of the ninth consecutive week of increase for gasoline prices and the seventh for diesel. This week, oil companies raised gasoline prices by P1 per liter, diesel by P1.45 and kerosene by P1.35 per liter.

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that excise tax amounts to P7.00/ liter for gasoline and P2.50/liter for diesel.

Bayan added that VAT is a percentage of the cost of fuel, whose value increases every time oil prices go up. Protesters claimed that government gets windfall revenues from VAT everytime there is an oil price hike.

“Whichever the administration decides to do, these relief measures cannot wait as prices have soared and inflation has quickened to 6.7%,” said Teddy Casiño, Bayan spokesperson.

“The latest oil price hike makes the removal of burdensome taxes on oil products very urgent and in fact, long overdue,” Casiño added.

Bayan noted that the economic crisis is far more important than any Charter change drive at the Lower House and that the time to act is now.

Casiño said that instead of focusing its attention in creating false conspiracy on its “Red October” destabilization plot, the Duterte government must put an end to the conspiracy of big oil companies which makes oil prices consistently increase.

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