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WHO says it is too early to reinstate face shield policy 

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Despite the threat posed by the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said "it is still premature to reintroduce the face shields" with the "significant public discontent" on its mandatory use, a...

Return of face shield policy opposed

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A leader of the House of Representatives on Tuesday said the government should implement strict border control measures instead of re-imposing the mandatory wearing of face shields to directly address the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19...

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Manila recognizes medical workers on Bonifacio Day 

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The city government of Manila paid tribute to medical workers during the celebration of Andres Bonifacio’s 158th birth anniversary at Liwasang Bonifacio on Tuesday, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. The city again called me...

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DOE plans to provide fuel subsidy 

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The Department of Energy (DOE) eyes to tap the proceeds from the excise tax on petroleum products as fuel subsidy amid rising pump prices, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In a press conference Friday, DOE Assistant Secretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said there is a provision in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that allows the additional government revenue to be used for social welfare and benefits programs like fuel subsidies.

Under Section 82 of TRAIN Law, incremental revenues from the law can be tapped to fund “fuel vouchers to qualified franchise holders of public utility jeepneys (PUJs)” within five years from the effectivity of the act.

The TRAIN Law took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

“We will make the necessary suggestions on how to tap any resources. But part of the resolution that we asked the Congress is to be able to determine from DBM (Department of Budget and Management) if they still have the money from the collection and if we can use the money for this purpose,” Erguiza said in mixed English and Filipino.

Earlier, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority opposed the recommendation of suspending the excise tax on petroleum products despite the rising oil prices.

The DOF said should the excise tax on petroleum products be suspended, the government stands to lose PHP131.4 billion in revenues -- PHP24.7 billion in excise revenues and PHP106.7 billion in incremental revenues under the TRAIN Law.

With the opposition from the economic team to halt the excise tax collection on petroleum products, Erguiza added that the DOE also suggested to Congress to at least reduce the excise tax rate when world oil price hikes reach a certain level.

“The concept is that for us to be given the authority, the red light, green light to do something. That’s the concept we told to the Congress,” he added.


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