Business groups to politicians: Reconsider call to halt oil, electricity taxes


Local business groups appealed to candidates for President and other politicians to reconsider their call to suspend oil and electricity taxes.

In a statement on Friday, business groups said more targeted approaches to assist businesses and consumers may be better than a “blanket suspension or reduction of taxes.”

The groups said providing a blanket suspension of oil and electricity taxes may benefit those who are not affected by the increase in oil prices.

“Instead of a blanket suspension or reduction in taxes, we urge them to consider tried and tested targeted measures to assist sectors and citizens who need it most,” the business groups said.

“This will limit the drain on government revenue at a time when more than ever the government needs funds to fight COVID and accelerate job-creating economic recovery,” they added.

The groups said targeted approaches include subsidies to sectors directly affected by high oil prices in their operations.

This includes direct subsidies to public utility vehicles who would not be able to make decent profits with the high oil prices.  

Without subsidies, the local groups said PUVs may have no choice but to pay the increase in oil prices through higher fares from the commuting public.

“The measures could also include other cash transfers to low-income communities and sectors, taking advantage of and further developing the 4Ps and SAP systems that are serving these communities and sectors through past and present crises,” the groups said.

The statement was issued by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX); Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF); GoNegosyo (according to FEL); and the Investment Houses Association of the Philippines (IHAP).

Other groups which supported the statement were the Makati Business Club (MBC); Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI); Philippine Retailers Association (PRA); and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA)

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