Inflation may rise as high as 4% due to TRAIN, says Lacson
Citing his talks with former and incumbent Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials, Senator Panfilo Lacson warned on Thursday that inflation could rise as high as 4 percent because of the new Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) law.
“Let’s wait for the time na talagang mag-take effect o mafe-feel ng mga tao ‘yung positive or negative effect ng passage ng TRAIN,” Lacson said at a regular forum in the Senate when sought for reaction on the reported price increases caused by the new law.
(Let’s wait for the time when it takes effect or when people feel either the positive or negative effect of the passage of TRAIN.)
But while the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) claimed that the impact of the law on inflation was only 1 percent by yearend, he said his discussion with former and incumbent BIR officials as well as topnotch accountants showed otherwise.
“Well I’ve talked to some BIR officials mismo — former and incumbent officials, I’ve talked to several topnotch accountants — ang estimate nila between 2 and 4 percent ang tatama sa inflation,” Lacson said.
“Yung inflationary effect talagang mafe-feel ito. Why? Kasi unang una yung sa fuel. Ngayon pa lang nagtataasan na. Yung Meralco sabi nila magbababa sa Enero. Jan. 11 na tayo e pero Pebrero magtataas sila dahil may impact din sa fuel kasi gumagamit ng fuel,” he pointed out.
(The inflationary effect will really be felt. Why? Because first of all, the fuel prices. Even now, they’re rising. Meralco said their bills will be lower in January. It’s the 11th today, but in February they will raise their prices because there will be an impact on fuel because they use fuel.)
At present, he said the inflation rate was 3.2 percent.
“Pagka ‘yung increment na 4 or 3 (percent) pumatong doon, papalo na tayo ng mga 5 (percent) sa inflation. Medyo mataas yun. Medyo alarming yan kung aabot tayo ng mga 6 (percent),” said the senator.
(When the increment of 4 or 3 percent goes on top of that, we will then have 5 percent inflation. That’s quite high. It’s alarming when we reach 6 percent.)
Lacson, member of the majority bloc, was among the four senators who voted against the measure in December last year.
The three others were Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV, who all belong to the minority group. /je
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