Amid surge of global oil prices, De Lima urges Duterte to temporarily suspend import duties of petroleum products


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima urged Mr. Duterte to temporarily suspend the import duties of petroleum products to protect the general welfare of Filipino consumers amid the extraordinary surge in global oil prices.

De Lima filed Proposed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 997 stressing that the government must not remain unperturbed by the continuous increase in fuel prices with the country still reeling from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With no end in sight to the ongoing Ukraine conflict, and as the world gears up for any spillover of violence, the prices of petroleum products figure to soar even higher as the days go by, as Russia, a top producer and supplier of gas to the European Union, continues to be levied heavy economic sanctions by Western allied forces,” she noted.

“There is need to take decisive action and immediately suspend all import duties on petroleum products in order to protect consumer interests and ensure that gas prices remain affordable and accessible to ordinary Filipinos until the price of oil in the international market stabilizes,” she added.

In May 2020, Duterte signed Executive Order (E.O.) No. 113 imposing a temporary additional import duty of 10% to imported crude oil and refined petroleum products, in addition to their existing Most Favored Nation and preferential import duties.

Moody’s Analytics Associate Economist Sonia Zhu said a prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine will weigh on the Philippines’ other trading partners, thus having a spillover effect on supply-chain and oil prices, putting upward pressure on inflation.

Notably, the Philippines is a country heavily reliant on the importation of petroleum products to ensure energy security for the country.

De Lima said the Philippine government should remain cognizant of the fact that while the ongoing conflict may be happening far from the country’s borders, the interconnectedness of the global economic order means that its consequences can be vast.

“The State must come to the aid of Filipinos who will have to bear the brunt of the crippling effects of rising fuel prices. It bears stressing that the consistent upward trend of fuel prices without a concomitant increase in salaries and wages of Filipinos has made purchasing even the most basic of goods truly burdensome,” she said.

De Lima said the government should enact policies that protect its citizens from the consequences – both intended and unintended – of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The government should implement strategies that will help stimulate economic activity and chart our path towards economic recovery and eliminate any obstacles along the way,” she said.

“While the government can plan for the long-term outlook, the present surge in oil prices warrants immediate action lest our economy and countrymen suffer devastating setbacks that will further hamper much needed recovery that has eluded our country from the time the COVID-19 pandemic occurred,” she added. (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.