DOE: 444 gas stations start charging higher prices due to 2nd tranche of TRAIN

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 10) — Over 400 gasoline stations nationwide are now charging higher fuel prices due to additional excise taxes on petroleum products, authorities said Thursday.

This is part of the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, which took effect on January 1. It imposes an additional ₱2 per liter excise tax on diesel and gasoline, ₱1 for every liter of kerosene, and ₱1 for every kilogram of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for 2019.

Of the 444 retail stations that started implementing this, 369 are from Petron, 46 from Shell, and 29 from Flying V, according to the Oil Industry Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella, DOE spokesperson, said 8,600 more gas stations in the country will follow suit. Despite more expensive fuel products, he stressed that consumers will benefit from higher excise taxes in the long run, since funds will be used for infrastructure and poverty alleviation projects, among others.

"Saan siya mapupunta? Ma-traffic 'di ba? Kailangan ng bagong daan, kailangan ng bagong tulay. Marami tayong nakikitang mahihirap 'di ba? Kailangan tulungan yung mahihirap through poverty alleviation [programs]," Fuentebella said in a press briefing.

Translation: "Where will it go? There's traffic, right? We need new roads, new bridges. Many are poor, right? We need to help them through poverty alleviation programs."

The DOE also reiterated that companies should first empty their 2018 oil inventories before imposing excise taxes because only new products should be covered by the second tranche of the TRAIN law.

READ: DOE to oil firms: Empty 2018 fuel stocks before applying 2019 excise tax hike

Senator Grace Poe on Thursday also warned petroleum retail outlets against charging beyond what the law allowed. She said Congress "will continue to use [its] oversight function" to examine the implementation of TRAIN Law.

CNN Philippines' Eimor Santos contributed to this report.