Dimagiba cited a passage in the book of the late Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando on equitable and progressive tax law and quote “The effect on the cost of living is easily apparent , and even the necessities of life could be placed beyond the reach of the poor . (The Constitution of the Philippines, 2nd edition, Enrique M. Fernando, p 221, 1977 ) .”
(Dimagiba added that the new Congress in June 2019 should revisit the Train law and introduce an “equitable and progressive tax reform policy) .
Laban Konsyumer Inc. and its President Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba expressed concern that the 2018 national inflation rose 75.8% versus 2017 , while core inflation rose 113% , and blames the continuing implementation of the excise taxes on fuels as the principal driver of high inflation. LKI fears that the inflation for 2019 shall remain high and above the target of 4% .
Dimagiba maintains that crude oil prices was not the main driver of high inflation in 2018 . Just as crude oil prices went high quickly in the 3rd quarter of 2018 , crude oil prices went down as fast in the 4th quarter, yet inflation had remained high and above the government target . Dimagiba said the December 2018 inflation could have been lower than 5.1% but did not because of the excise taxes .
Dimagiba vows to pursue the pending petition in the Supreme Court against the law.
Dimagiba reiterated that the Train law imposed an excise tax in a fixed amount per liter of fuel , irrespective of the value of the crude oil , that increases over a period of three (3) years for everybody. The law did not consider the ability to pay of the consumers ( equitable ) and that the excise taxes imposed by the law did not depend on the resources of the consumers affected (progressive ).
Using the Department of Energy common or prevailing prices as of December 2017, LKI cited the big impact of the excise taxes in percentage on a per liter of gasoline, diesel and kerosene , over the period 2018-2020 , exclusive of the 12 %Value Added Tax ( VAT ) and irrespective of the actual amount of retail prices of the fuels, as follows
|Excise Tax /%||Excise Tax /%||Excise Tax /%|
|Gas||47.36/L||7.00 /14%||9.00/19 %||10.00/21%|
Dimagiba added that for every layer of the supply chain, which could be anywhere from 5 to 7 layers as well as in the production , manufacturing and transportation of the basic necessities and prime commodities, these fixed taxes are passed on to the costs of the goods and services produced and sold at least 5 to 7 times. Except for rice , power ( could be much lower without the Feed in Tariff Allowance or FIT ALL which now stands at Php 0.2563/kwh ) and the one (1) peso jeepney fare rollack, there had been no rollback or reduction in the suggested retail prices of basic necessities and prime commodities . The announcement on the rollback of bread prices was hardly implemented and that chicken, pork and sugar had remained without suggested retail prices.
Dimagiba noted that crude oil in November 2018 was 65 USD per barrel and yet inflation was at 6%, but crude oil was 61 USD in December 2017 and inflation was only 2.9 %.
Dimagiba added that Laban Konsyumer Inc. had supported all the programs and activities in the reduction of prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.