Fuel taxes and fare rates

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION -

With the na­tional gov­ern­ment con­firm­ing its plan to im­pose a sec­ond tranche of fuel ex­cise taxes next month as part of its so-called Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (TRAIN), a plan to set up a fare rate sys­tem for pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles (PUV) is start­ing to look like an at­trac­tive pro­posal.

Whether or not this fare rate re­struc­tur­ing sys­tem which would de­ter­mine the fare rates to be raised or low­ered based on cur­rent fuel prices would be af­fected by the sec­ond round of fuel ex­cise taxes re­mains un­clear though com­muters are ad­vised to brace for the worst that’s yet to come un­der this ad­min­is­tra­tion.

That busi­ness lead­ers in Cebu have cau­tioned, nay even ap­pealed to the na­tional gov­ern­ment not to pro­ceed with the fuel ex­cise tax rate in­crease based on the rec­om­men­da­tion of its eco­nomic man­agers — who are ei­ther out of touch or sim­ply don’t care about the weight of the in­creases they im­pose on the com­mon tao — says much about how the coun­try’s eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion has wors­ened un­der the in­cum­bent lead­er­ship which is ob­sessed with its war on il­le­gal drugs to the ex­clu­sion of ev­ery­thing else.

That said, pub­lic sen­ti­ment which also in­cludes the mass trans­port groups have yet to be as­sessed by the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) and the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTR).

To be sure, this fare rate ad­just­ment sys­tem is not a for­mula for a cure-all on the coun­try’s trans­port fare rate prob­lems and it has yet to be seen if the mass trans­port oper­a­tors can ad­just their rates ac­cord­ingly.

But in or­der to sell this sys­tem, the gov­ern­ment should first sus­pend in­def­i­nitely (if that is at all pos­si­ble), if not can­cel out­right the planned tranche for fuel ex­cise taxes. As of now, the pub­lic has yet to see for them­selves the ben­e­fits reaped from the ad­di­tional rev­enue sup­pos­edly gen­er­ated un­der the TRAIN law.

Most if not all pro­jects that were ei­ther com­pleted or are near­ing com­ple­tion have been pre­pared by the pre­vi­ous Aquino ad­min­is­tra­tion which re­lied on part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor and not ad­di­tional taxes to fund these ini­tia­tives.

More likely, the bulk of the ad­di­tional taxes to be im­posed on the tax­pay­ers will fund the ad­di­tional salaries of sol­diers and po­lice and the ex­ist­ing dole outs for the in­di­gents.

For once, the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion should lis­ten to its con­stituents and sus­pend or can­cel the sec­ond tranche of fuel ex­cise taxes while set­ting up an eq­ui­table fare rate ad­just­ment sys­tem that will re­sult in fare rates that is ad­van­ta­geous to both oper­a­tors and the rid­ing pub­lic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.