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Train to have minimal effects? Try minimum wage, gov’t officials told

By: - Reporter / @FMOrellanaINQ
/ 01:56 PM January 08, 2018
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (left) and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (File photos by JOAN BONDOC, GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (left) and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (File photos by JOAN BONDOC, GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

A youth activists group challenged two government officials to live a day with minimum wage after they made a remark that the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) would have “minimal and temporary” effects.

Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) lambasted on Monday the statements by Trade secretary Ramon Lopez and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque for being “malicious and deceptive.”

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Spark accused both officials of spreading false information and “downplaying the adverse effects of TRAIN and by making it seem justified and impartial.”

“They must admit that TRAIN like all indirect taxes are pass-on impositions. Manufacturers of goods and service providers shall simply make their clients bear their tax obligations,” the group said in a statement.

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Both Lopez and Roque previously said that the TRAIN law would have a “minimal” and “temporary” effect to the public particularly on the prices of commodities.

“It is absurd for them to claim minimal and temporary effects when undeniably, taxing petroleum products and electricity shall push the prices of commodities upwards, generating a tsunami of price hikes on all goods and services, gravely affecting those already living on a hand-to-mouth existence,” Spark said.

The activist group then challenged Roque and Lopez “to live even for a day on minimum wage so they may know firsthand what more than 12 million Filipinos will suffer once TRAIN is fully in motion.”

“Only after they’ve come down from their ivory towers and experience firsthand to live in the slums shall they only be credible to speak about impacts to the public,” the group said.

Spark is planning a protest a rally with laborers and other disadvantaged individuals that were affected by the TRAIN law. /je

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TAGS: Harry Roque, Minimum Wage, Ramon Lopez, Spark, Tax, Trade, TRAIN law, youth group
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