By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc. (Confed) welcomed the Department of Finance (DOF) decision to suspend the increase on fuel excise taxes, which is scheduled to run for three months starting in January 2019.
In a statement issued by SRA Board Member, Atty. Emilio Yulo III, the suspension is positive for the sugar industry since oil is used as a component in production.
“How can our sugar planters, particularly the small farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries that comprise over 80 percent of sugar producers, continue to compete when they have to contend with high cost of fuel?” he asked.
Yulo also said he would like to see the suspension extended to six months or whenever those negatively impacted by the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law “fully recover.”
Confed Chairman Nicholas Ledesma echoed the call for a longer suspension period, along with halting the implementation of TRAIN 2.
“Slash the excise tax on fuel and other commodities under TRAIN 1,” he declared.
“Further implementing TRAIN 2 will raise again the levy on fuel,” the Confed official added. “A three-month reprieve will lead to higher production cost, ergo huge losses to the sugar industry.”/DGB, WDJ