Some public transport groups are demanding the suspension of the excise tax on petroleum products following large-scale oil price increases and ongoing fighting between Ukraine and Russia.
According to Mar Valbuena, president of Samahang Manibela, Mananakay at Nagkakaisang Terminal ng Transportasyon, other drivers and operators voluntarily stopped driving because they did not have enough income to buy diesel.
According to Jobert Bolanos, chairperson of the Motorcycle Rights Organization, the stoppage of some drivers is not a threat. Still, it is the reality that the country is facing due to high fuel prices.
Some groups in the transport sector will stop operations next Tuesday if the demands they have listed from the government are not complied with.
Their requests include the following:
• Provide the appropriate fuel subsidy
• Remove excise tax, VAT on petroleum products
• Amend the oil deregulation law
“Kapag hindi umakto ang gobyerno… hihintayin pa ba nila huminto ang operasyon? Papaano po lalabas ang mamamayan kung hindi na kaya ang sobrang taas ng gasolina? Kung walang kita, bakit ka pa lalabas, kung malulugi ka lang, bakit ka lalabas?” said Jobert Bolanos ng Motorcycle Rights Organization.
“Sa ayaw man namin at sa gusto, hihinto kami dahil wala na kaming magagawa para paandarin ang mga truck na ito…. Hindi kami makakabiyahe dahil wala kaming pambayad ng diesel,” said Teddy Gervacio ng Confederation of Truckers Association.
Transport groups call for suspension of excise tax on petroleum products
Bolanos called for the suspension of the excise tax on petroleum products while their prices were still high.
Valbuena agreed to this because the subsidy allegedly given to the poor is only for 10 days.
They apologized to the passengers for asking for the fare increase, but they said they really needed it.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) plead to the driver not to involve commuters.
“Dapat po nating tandaan na ang ating serbisyo ay serbisyo publiko. Ito po ay may nakaatang na responsiblidad nang nabigyan tayo ng prangkisa… Hindi po kasalanan ng publiko ang pagtaas ng presyo ng petroleum products, wala silang kinalaman du’n,” said DOTr Undersecratary Mark Steven Pastor.
If the planned stop-and-go by some in the transport sector goes ahead, the DOTr will provide free rides for stranded passengers.