Senator Imee Marcos has called for a one-year suspension of the value-added tax (VAT) on oil products amid lingering economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, noted on Tuesday another price hike by oil companies that reached per liter increases of Php1.15 for gasoline, Php0.60 for diesel, and Php0.65 for kerosene.

Since January, fuel prices per liter have already increased by Php13 for gasoline, Php10 for diesel, and Php9 for kerosene, Marcos said.

Marcos said suspending the 12% VAT on oil products will provide relief to various consumers other than just motorists.

“Oil price hikes have a domino effect on agricultural products and other essentials. The higher costs will be passed on to the ordinary consumer who may still not have a job but has no choice but to deal with rising prices of food, electricity, and other goods,” Marcos explained.

The 12% VAT on fuel products was applied by the government in addition to the excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

President Duterte signed the law imposing excise taxes of Php2.50 per liter of diesel and Php7 per liter for gasoline in December 2017.