Friday, October 03, 2008

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves announced that the government will be reviewing the implementing rules for the Executive Order that controls the tariff percentage applied to petroleum products. According to Teves, the rules were set when world oil prices were at $134 per barrel. Oil is now priced below $100 dollars today. Read more about it on the Inquirer here.

Uh-oh! This is a sign that the government intends to raise the tariff on oil, which will delay some of the price reductions on pump prices that we're all waiting for. This quote from Teves says it all: "What we can do is … review these guidelines. Ang direksyon po natin ay tulungan ang ating publiko and at the same time, hindi naman po malulugi ang gobyerno."

Update 10:13am:
Seems like the government has already implemented a 1% duty on oil products. It also seems that the article from the Inquirer is really vague when it comes to the details it presented. Here's a link to Business World's take on Teves' announcement.

Anyway, the EO that it is referring to is EO 691, which was enacted on January 2008. This set price levels that, if reached, would automatically reduce the 3% duty on oil products. Now that oil prices have gone below $106 per barrel (which was the price level that would trigger a reduction on oil tariff to 0%), a 1% duty is now applicable.

This puts Teves' statement in a whole new light. Maybe he is looking for a way to delay the implementation of tariffs. We suppose only time will tell.