This comes off the heels of last year's drama, where the DOF withdrew its initial recommendation to suspend the second tranche of the oil excise tax increase. Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, an additional P2 per liter of gas and diesel came into effect at the start of the year. However, oil companies are not meant to implement the added taxes yet until the previous year's supply is finished.
However, DOF assistant secretary Tony Lambino points out that the added taxes could be offset by lower crude oil prices worldwide, which would result in fuel rollbacks locally. According to the Department of Energy, several Petron outlets in certain areas have already implemented the added taxes, namely:
- Concepcion, Tarlac
- Subic, Zambales
- MacArthur Highway, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga
- Barangay Dakila, Malolos, Bulacan
- Sta. Ana, Pampanga
- Lubao, Pampanga
The DOE mentioned that the early implementations could possibly be due to higher product turnover or smaller storage capacities. However, the government agency reminded fuel companies to deplete their existing supplies first, lest they face large-scale penalties.