Budget Dep’t trusts 2nd oil tax hike in 2019 will not affect inflation

Marje Pelayo   •   December 5, 2018   •   2660



MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno noted that the since the government’s measures in the previous months have been effective to lower inflation, the government is confident that the implementation of additional tax on oil products next year will not bring huge impact on the prices of basic commodities.

During the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (December 4), President Rodrigo Duterte approved the implementation of the second tranche of oil excise tax or the P1.00 additional tax per liter of oil products.

The measure came after a series of reductions in prices of oil in the global market. With Dubai crude oil not exceeding $80 dollars per barrel, suspending the additional tax on oil will incur the government up to P43.4-B in revenue loss.

Diokno allays public fears on the negative effects of the additional tax on oil especially in the country’s inflation.

“No basis for that argument kasi kahit may two-peso increase sa tax, ikumpara mo sa pinanggalingan niya na mas mababa pa ng ten pesos. So there’s no reason why there would be a second round effect,” Diokno said.

But if worse comes to worst and the price of oil increases anew in the world market, Diokno said the government is ready to impose a remedy under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Nasa batas naman na. Susundin lang natin ang batas. Kung halimbawa mag-hit nga ng 80 for the next 3 months, then we will suspend,” the budget official assured.

Likewise, Diokno said, the Duterte administration assures that traders will not have a free hand to increase their prices especially agricultural products or make use of the oil price hike to take advantage of the consumers.

However, Diokno said the country’s agriculture sector needs to improve in order to contribute more and achieve its target contribution to the country’s revenue.

“May mga administrative action na si presidente, na we are monitoring yung tinatawag nating farm gate at retail price kasi lumalabas nga na halos 100 percent ang difference noon so ngayon. Tinututukan talaga yan ng DTI at DA,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


Police halts protest of public school teachers in DBM office

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Police District (MPD) Station 14 has stopped the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) from protesting in front of the office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday (April 23).

The MPD Station 14, headed by its commander P.Lt.Col. Ramon Nazario ordered the group to stop the protest since mass gathering is still prohibited amid the quarantine restriction as well as the group’s lack of permit.

Una una po alam niyo naman na nasa MECQ [Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine] tayo. Bawal po ang mga gatherings lalong lalo kung sa more than 10 at tsaka violation po ng social distancing so pinaalis po namin sila dito (Firstly, we are under MECQ. Mass gatherings are not allowed especially if it is more than 10. There was also a violation of social distancing so we asked them to leave the area),”  he said.

Meanwhile, the ACT denounces the actions of the MPD. The group said the teachers trooped to the office of the DBM to call for salary upgrading and grant of due benefits.

“The Alliance of Concerned Teachers denounced the ‘high-handed’ acts of the Manila Police District to deter the teachers’ protest action and confiscate their materials in front of the Department of Budget and Management,” the group said.

ACT NCR Union Executive Vice President Louie Zabala reiterated that the group was following health protocols and slammed that police authorities are only using the quarantine restrictions to prevent the group from airing their legitimate demand.

He also stressed that the teachers urgently need economic relief through the release of overly delayed benefits and fulfillment of the president’s promise of a substantial salary increase. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

PH inflation eased to 4.5% in March — PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Inflation or rate of increase in the prices of goods and services slightly slowed down in March due to slower price movement of food and non-alcoholic beverages, data released Tuesday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

The PSA said the consumer price index was recorded at 4.5% in March, slightly slower than 4.7% registered in February. However, this is still faster than the 2.5% in March 2020.

March inflation brought the year-to-date inflation at 4.5%, still within the 4.2% to 5% forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the agency said.

“The slowdown in inflation at the national level was primarily due to the lower annual increment registered in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.8 percent in March 2021, from 6.7 percent inflation in February 2021,” the PSA said in a statement.

Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items, stood at 3.5%. This was unchanged from the rate recorded in the previous month, but faster than the 3% recorded in March last year.

The PSA also noted deceleration in the annual increases in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco (12.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (1.9 percent); communication (0.2 percent); and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (3.1 percent).

“The latest outturn is consistent with expectations that inflation could settle above the high-end of the target in 2021, reflecting the impact of supply-side constraints on domestic prices of key food commodities, such as meat, as well as the continuing uptick in international oil prices,” the BSP said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, inflation is still seen to return to within the target band in 2022 as supply-side influences subside. At the same time, timely and effective implementation of direct measures by the national government could contribute to easing price pressures,” it added.

The central bank also said that a tighter domestic supply of meat products and improved global economic activity could lend further upward pressures on inflation.

However, the ongoing pandemic also continues to pose downside risks to the inflation outlook, as the recent surge in virus infections and challenges over mass vaccination programs continue to temper prospects for domestic demand, it added.

Phl inflation accelerates; hits 4.7% in February

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The trend in the country’s inflation rate continues to go upward as it hits 4.7% in February 2021.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the prices of goods in the country further increased at a faster rate in February compared to that in January with a 4.4% rate recorded. 

The rate is also higher compared to that in February 2020 with 2.6 percent – the highest inflation recorded since January 2019.

The rate of the country’s prices of goods had been increasing for five consecutive months.

Experts say contributing to the uptrend include the spike in meat prices, especially pork; and the increase in the prices of alcoholic and tobacco products, as well as, gas fuels. – AAC


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