Duterte rejects fuel tax halt.

 Duterte rejects fuel tax halt.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected calls to halt the implementation of the fuel tax, despite the rising prices of gasoline and diesel in the country. The fuel tax, which was implemented in 2018, is part of the government’s tax reform program aimed at funding infrastructure projects and social services.

The president’s decision to reject the fuel tax halt came after several lawmakers and transport groups urged the government to suspend the tax to ease the burden on consumers. The rising fuel prices have caused inflation to spike, affecting the prices of basic goods and services.

However, Duterte argued that suspending the fuel tax would only worsen the country’s economic situation. He said that the government needs the revenue from the tax to fund its programs and projects, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president also pointed out that the fuel tax is not the only factor contributing to the rising fuel prices. He cited the global oil market and the depreciation of the Philippine peso as other factors that affect the prices of gasoline and diesel.

Duterte’s decision to reject the fuel tax halt has drawn mixed reactions from the public. Some have praised the president for his firm stance on the issue, while others have criticized him for being insensitive to the plight of ordinary Filipinos.

Transport groups have threatened to stage protests and strikes to demand the suspension of the fuel tax. They argue that the tax is causing undue hardship on drivers and commuters, especially those who rely on public transportation.

The government has responded by offering fuel subsidies and financial assistance to affected sectors. However, critics say that these measures are not enough to address the root cause of the problem.

The debate over the fuel tax highlights the challenges facing the Philippine economy, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is under pressure to balance the need for revenue with the need to provide relief to those who are struggling to make ends meet.

As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic and its economic fallout, the government will need to find a way to address the rising fuel prices without compromising its long-term goals. Duterte’s rejection of the fuel tax halt may be a sign of his determination to stay the course, but it remains to be seen whether this approach will be sustainable in the long run.