A LAWMAKER from the House of Representatives has filed a bill aimed to cut fuel prices in light of ongoing oil price increases.

Baguio City Rep. Marquez "Mark" Go filed House Bill (HB) 1440, which aims to lower the excise tax imposed on fuel and petroleum products as pump prices are increasing along with rising global oil prices.

Go's proposed legislation would reduce excise taxes on fuel products such as below-91-octane gasoline (regular) from P10 to P4.35 and above-91-octane gasoline (premium) from P10 to P5.35. It would also reduce taxes on kerosene from P5 to P0, liquified petroleum gas from P3 to P0 and diesel from P6 to P0.

"While the erratic and volatile behavior of oil prices in the world market is beyond the control of the Philippine legislature, it remains its duty to provide immediate relief to Filipinos amid the ongoing fuel crisis," Go said.

"The temporary reduction of the excise tax on petroleum products is a viable remedy that Congress may adopt in order to ease the burden on motorists and consumers," he added.

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In accordance with HB 1440, the excise taxes would be reinstated to their initial levels after the average Dubai crude price stabilized at $65 or less for four consecutive weeks.

Go also filed HB 1659, which sought to amend RA 8479, generally known as the "Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act."

The bill suggests setting a price cap and limiting the rate of fuel price increases in order to avoid significant price differences between different regions. It also suggests giving the Department of Energy more authority to regularly monitor fuel prices by requiring oil traders to provide verified monthly reports that support price increases.

Go claims that despite the nation's abundant supply of domestic crude oil, the country's deregulated oil industry has resulted in fluctuating fuel costs since changes in global oil prices are promptly reflected in local pricing.

"High price of oil burdens the people which equates to a lesser purchasing power on the part of the consumers. At present, deregulation has allowed the unguarded increase of oil prices with an adverse impact on the prices of basic commodities and other services," Go concluded.