Many may lose jobs if TRAIN 2 rolls out – Bam Aquino
The jobs of many Filipinos will be in peril once the government pushes the enactment of the second tax reform package, which aims to remove the tax incentives on certain firms, Senator Bam Aquino warned on Monday.
“After the increase in prices of goods and services, the government will put the jobs of many Filipinos in peril by removing incentives to some businesses,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Kaliwa’t kanang suntok ang ibibigay ng pamahalaan sa taumbayan. Tumaas na nga ang presyo ng bilihin, ngayon naman, maraming kababayan natin ang posibleng mawalan ng trabaho,” he added.
The country’s inflation rate increased to 4.3 percent in March, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Some said the general increase in prices was due to the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law, which was implemented in January.
The Train Law imposes higher excise taxes on fuel products, cars, tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverage, but it also increased the tax-free cap of 13th month pay and other bonuses to P90,000, as well as the tax income exemption to P250,000.
The Comprehensive Tax Reform Program’s Package 2 or “Train 2” meanwhile, aims to gradually lower corporate income tax rate from 30 to 25 percent while modernizing incentives for companies.
Aquino stressed that if the tax incentives being given to Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-accredited firms are removed, many companies would be forced to close shop, affecting the employment of many Filipinos.
The senator added that some investors eyeing to put up shops in economic zones would shelve their plan once the second part of the government’s tax package is enacted.
He likewise urged the government to further study the impact of the second tax package to Filipinos, saying the effects of the initial package have burdened the public with high prices of goods and services.
Citing the latest survey by Pulse Asia, Aquino said 98 percent of 1,200 respondents claimed the prices of basic goods they usually purchase have increased since January.
Around 86 percent of respondents, he added, were strongly affected by the increase in prices of goods, 13 percent were “somewhat affected,” and only one percent said they were not affected at all.
“The government should first consider reviewing the TRAIN Law before inflicting additional burden with the passage of the second package,” Aquino said.
The senator earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 704, which seeks to conduct a review of the Train Law, claiming it “greatly contributes to the increase in prices of goods and services that burdens Filipinos, especially the poor.”/ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.