Zarate: Train law slows down PH economic growth
The country’s economic slowdown at 6 percent for the past second quarter can be blamed on the “price shocks” caused by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said on Thursday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier reported that the Philippine economy’s growth slowed to 6 percent in the second quarter, below the government full-year target of 7-8 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018.
In a statement, Zarate said this is due to the fact that “most Filipinos now have lower and fewer purchases because of the price shocks caused by the TRAIN law, the devaluation of the peso and the surge in oil prices.”
“Malubha talaga ang tama sa ekonimiya lalo na sa mahihirap ng TRAIN law at mas lalala pa ito dahil sa TRAIN 2. Huwag na nilang pagtakpan pa na TRAIN talaga ang isang malaking sanhi ng pagbagal ng ekonomiya,” the progressive solon said.
The opposition lawmaker also warned that the economic growth under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte may get worse in the coming quarters, while the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) was “hiding” the real cause of the country’s slow economic growth.
“The NEDA is now attributing slowing growth to the Boracay closure, mining review and government underspending to cover the fact that it was the TRAIN law and other anti-poor policies that started this downturn,” Zarate said.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin meanwhile said the slowdown in economic growth “shows that our economic managers have made wrong policy decisions that spiked inflation rates and current account deficit, two macroeconomic indicators of growth.”
“Fiscal policies promoted by them like the TRAIN law and cash-based budgeting slowed down economic activities across all sectors from infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing,” Villarin added, as he called on President Rodrigo Duterte to “revamp” his economic team.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat added that the Duterte administration has to “get its act together and focus on what needs to be done to boost growth and temper inflation.”
Enough with the “distractions, and the unproductive endeavors,” Baguilat said, citing the push for federalism. /muf
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