The Duterte Administration’s plan to increase the excise taxes on oil products elicited criticisms from various quarters in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, with lawmakers raising concerns on the additional burdens it would bring to consumers.

The planned increase is a measure proposed by the Department of Finance (DOF) to mitigate the revenue impact of its planned reduction of corporate and income taxes. This is part of the President’s SONA commitment to aggressively push for the lowering of tax rates.

READ: Duterte Discusses Tax Reforms With Senators, Gov't To Push For 25% Personal Income Tax

With the proposed increase on excise taxes on oil products, the government will impose a P10 per liter levy for the first year on regular gasoline and other petroleum products, which is seen to translate to a revenue gain of P178 billion, but would also hike transport fares to P1.

The proposed increase is anti-people and would adversely affect consumers, particularly its domino effect that would hike the prices of basic goods and services, InterAksyon reported Bayan Muna Party-list Representative, Carlos Isagani Zarate as saying.

Zarate said the move will negate the gains people could derive from the reduction of income taxes and urged the DOF to look for other non-tax measures that would not hit the poor hard.

Whatever benefits from the decrease in personal income tax rate can be eroded by new VAT or additional taxes as a consequence of the expansion of the tax base, GMA News reported Albay Representative Edcel Lagman as saying to DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during the House budget briefing on President Duterte’s proposed P3.35T Budget for 2017.

READ: DBM Submits Proposed P3.35-T Budget For 2017, Diokno Grilled Over Lump Sums Found

Lagman also said the proposed increase will be detrimental to the low-income wage earners, who are already exempted from income taxes, explaining that such move will not spare them from the cascading burden from the VAT and excise tax on oil products they will be suffering as consumers.

Meanwhile on the Senate front, The Manila Bulletin reported Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto as saying higher taxes on fuel would have the effect of pouring gas into fire if it is not handled well. Recto added that the government must temper or trim its tax proposals. He urged it to ready its plans to grant fuel discounts or fuel subsidies.

Amid heavy opposition from the lawmakers, Dominguez assured the government will provide support to the poorest of the poor to help them cope with the intended increase in the excise taxes on oil products and the consequent increase in fare hike.

What do you think of solons opposing the government's plan to raise excise tax on oil? Let us know in the comments section below.