In the wake of successive price hikes, Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon Ang said on Monday (Nov. 8) that he is open to selling the oil company back to the government.
Ang told lawmakers during a House ways and means committee hearing on petroleum price monitoring that he is willing to sell Petron, which was once state-owned and controlled, to the government at market value.
‘Yung sina-suggest na bilhin ng gobyerno ‘yung Petron… anytime po puwede ko pa ipautang sa Philippine government, bilhin ninyo ito ng over five years to pay. I swear kung gusto ng gobyerno bilhin handa niyo na, sabihin niyo na, bebenta ko kaagad sa inyo. Pagawan niyo na ng valuation immediately (Suggestions for the government to buy back Petron… anytime I could sell it to the Philippine government and they could pay for it within five years. I swear, if the government wants to buy it, just tell us, and I could sell it immediately to you. You prepare now a valuation immediately),” Ang said.
During the same hearing, the panel established a technical working group (TWG) to draft a substitute bill to repeal the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law’s fuel excise taxes.
From December 1, 2021, to June 1, 2022, excise taxes on diesel (from P6/liter) and kerosene (from P5/liter) will be completely suspended, while excise taxes on gasoline will be reduced by up to P3/liter.
Given the use of unleaded gasoline by the public transportation sector, the TWG would also be tasked with differentiating rates between premium and unleaded gasoline.
The proposal, according to the Department of Finance (DOF), will result in a loss of P37.5 billion in revenue.
Increases in value-added tax (VAT) collection as a result of higher prices, according to committee chair Joey Salceda.
Salceda’s proposal, according to the DOF, could raise disposable incomes by 0.22 percent to 0.48 percent, increase consumption by 0.2 percent, and reduce inflation by 0.14 percent.
The TWG was also directed to direct the DOF and Department of Energy to monitor prices and exercise motu proprio powers to investigate unusual price activity, to revert to TRAIN tax rates if crude oil prices fall below US$60/barrel during the suspension period, and to give the Development Budget Coordination Committee the authority to reduce excise tax rates when certain thresholds are crossed.
It was also proposed to create a Social Impact Stabilization Fund, which would be used and appropriated as ayuda (assistance) for the lower 80% of households by income when prices rise. This will be paid for by levying a P2/liter surcharge on petroleum products when prices fall below the 30-year average.
“The government tells me that we do not have the money for a large-scale ayuda for those who will be affected by higher petroleum prices. I think this feature solves that. In the future, when prices go up, we will have funds to support mass financial relief,” he said.
Ang willing to sell Petron back to gov’t|ptvnews