Recto: P10 per liter fuel tax will raise food prices
Sen. Ralph Recto warned finance officials about the possible impact of the proposed P10 tax per liter of gasoline on the price of food.
Recto said higher tax on fuel would affect the farming and fishing sectors, and ultimately, the prices of food on the table.
He said Malacañang should be aware that gasoline accounts for up to 80 percent of the landed cost of some fish species.
Recto cited a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources study that the share of gas and oil in the total fishing expense of a coastal or municipal fisherman ranges “from 31 percent for those who use shrimp gillnets, to a high 80 percent of a ‘drift hook and line’ fisherman.”
Fishermen who use the traditional beach seine, in which a net is pulled to the shore, spend 40 percent of their income to buy gas, he said.
Fuel accounts for half of the price of tulingan (frigate tuna), galunggong (round scad), matangbaka, dilis (anchovies), alumahan, tambakol, bisugo (sea bream), lapu-lapu (grouper) and talakitok (snapper), he added
And as fishing grounds get depleted, fishermen use more fuel to venture farther out to sea for longer periods.
Recto also said fuel is a major farm input because of mechanized farming, like in the case of rice where tractors and harvesters are used.
“In the case of palay, for every P1 gross, about 64 centavos is spent for production,” he said.
“Yung average P80,000 gross per hectare, about P49,000 is the cost of production. Kung tataasan mo pa ang presyo ng gasolina ng traktora at thresher at water pump, ninipis ang kita ng magsasaka,” he said.
He said the figure accounts only for production, and does not include transportation costs.
Recto said the poverty incidence is highest among fishermen at 39.2 percent and farmers at 38.3 percent in 2012.