Philippines eyeing to lift tariffs on oil products, steel

08:37, May 26, 2010      

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The Philippines is looking at lifting the tariffs on crude oil and refined petroleum products and on hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil steel, a top official said on Tuesday.

Jesli Lapus, Philippine Trade Secretary told reporters that he has recommended to the National Economic Development Authority Board to reduce the tariffs on the said commodities to zero.

Currently, crude oil and refined petroleum products are subject to a 3 percent tax, while hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel with 7 percent.

Taking away the tariffs would mean a 5.46-billion peso (117.57 million U.S. dollars) revenue loss for the Philippines, but Lapus said the tariff cuts on oil products could "lead to revenue gain by the public" since pump prices globally are expected to drop.

"We expect pump prices to drop. It would stabilize prices and lower inflation. Revenue loss will be revenue gained by the public. It will lessen the cost of living," he said.

Lifting of the tariff on iron sheets, on the other hand, is necessary to prevent an increase in the prices of galvanized iron sheets because of the rising prices of iron ore in the world market, he said.



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