Consumer group warns of ‘complacency’ due to drop in prices of petroleum products
Sunday, November 04, 2018 4:09PM PHT
A consumer group leader said on Sunday that
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno should not be complacent just because the price of petroleum products dropped.
“Tingin nila kuntento na sila na bumababa na ang presyo ng petroleum products at ayaw na nilang tuparin ang desisyon,” said Victorio Mario Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsumer Inc., in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Sunday.
Diokno said last week that he does not believe that the suspension of the second tranche of excise taxes on fuel products will last for the full year 2019.
The government had announced that it would suspend the next round of excise taxes, which had been scheduled to go into effect in January, to offset the higher than expected inflation rate.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua later said that the suspension would only be for three months.
Dimagiba said that the prices of some services have been increasing, such as jeepney fares, bus fares, and airplanes’ fuel surcharge. He also pointed out that other goods are volatile in price.
“So hindi tayo pwede maging complacent dahil bumababa [ang presyo ng petrolyo],” Dimagiba said.
“Marami pa tayong huhugutin o babawiin para bumalik ang pera at presyo sa level na ayon sa tinarget ng pamahalaan,” he also said.
Dimagiba said that the government’s credibility will come into question considering that the projection of price increases in the futures market came from the government itself, leading to the decision to suspend the second tranche of excise tax on fuel from January to March 2019.
“Ituloy nila ang suspension… Sila na yung nagsasabi e, sila yung nag-statement sa Senate. Sinabi yan ni Usec. Karl [Chua]. Sinabi yan ni [Fiance] Asec. [Tony] Lambino,” he said.
Dimagiba suggested that it could be a priority legislation in the next Congress whether TRAIN 1 should be repealed or amended, also to clarify the basis of tax suspension.
“Sa akin complacent ‘yan, na tingin nila okay na tayo dahil bumababa ng four weeks,” he said, referring to the prices of petroleum products.
“Papaano kung tumaas next week? The other week, tumaas ulit. Ano naman? Ano ‘yun? Ano ba ‘to, basketball ba ‘to? Hindi naman ganun ang laro sa economy e,” Dimagiba said. — Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News
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