August 8, 2019
2 news items are testimonials to Laban Konsyumer Inc. continuing advocacies against the excise tax law on fuels and the preliminary safeguard duty on cement. Both advocacies are documented with appropriate pleadings and position papers which are filed with the Supreme Court and quasi judicial entity.
The Petron Corporation public statement that reported a huge 72 percent decline in net income for the first half of 2019 should not be left as just a public statement of a publicly listed company. The Department of Finance owes to the public and consumers to validate the Petron financial report that blamed the Train Law or the excise tax on fuels as the primary reason for the decline in revenues and profits. The finance department owes to inform the consumers whether the target excise taxes versus collection for the past one and half years had been achieved . Also, the economic managers should assess the impact of the Petron public statement. When people spends less for basic services and goods like fuels , these affects the way inflation behaves. Surprisingly we look at the deceleration of inflation that prices are going down. Have we also think of the demand and expenditures side.
Another news that should not be treated as just news is the report of the decline in the manufacturing sector that registered seven consecutive months decline . Also petroleum products recorded negative 69 percent consumption . This sector uses a lot of fuel and so if the official record shows a decline, also the use of fuel should likewise have gone down .
Second, the Eagle Cement report that first half Income jumped 44 percent up should be the coup de grace against the safeguard duty on cement. As the Tariff Commission had not issued the final report, the Eagle Cement income should be the knockout out punch against the DTI moto propio safeguard duty investigation. ON record Eagle Cement is not an importer and do not pass on the safeguard duty, yet their market efficiencies help them generate a big jump in income . If a home grown entity can work wonders in the cememt industry, it should be no Brainer that the Tariff Commission forthwith dismiss the case. Retail cement should go down by 10 to 20 pesos a bag . END.