Bam Aquino rallies support for passage of TRAIN law amendment
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino is banking on the support of his colleagues to immediately pass a measure that seeks to amend the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) to protect Filipinos from soaring prices.
Aquino explained that the Senate’s version of the TRAIN law had a safeguard that would automatically suspend fuel excise tax if the forecast rate was exceeded.
On May 10, Aquino filed SBN 1978, which he said would bring back this safety net.
“This is a very reasonable amendment that can help alleviate the burden of high prices on our fellow countrymen,” Aquino said in a privilege speech.
He noted that before the implementation of the TRAIN law, the inflation rate was at 2.9%. This rose to 4.5% when the tax reform law took effect.
Aquino expressed hope that the amendment would be passed right away since the provision was already approved by the chamber.
The suspension of fuel excise tax is being eyed as an option that would help roll back the price of goods and transportation.
Aquino said the P70 billion savings in the 2019 national budget would make up for the losses that would be incurred by suspending the fuel tax.
He noted that the government underspent P390 billion in 2017.
The senator also called for the immediate implementation of the unconditional cash transfer program that is a component of the TRAIN law.
“Tumaas na po ang presyo ng bilihin ngunit 2.6 million families pa lang ang nakakatanggap ng financial assistance, 2.6 million out of 10 million pa lang ang nabibigyan ng tulong at ngayon po ay Mayo na (Prices of the goods have gone up, but only 2.6 million out of 10 million families had received financial assistance),” he said.
The senator slammed the National Food Authority and urged the government to act on the high price of rice.
“Kailangan ho nating umaksyon, hindi lang po magdebate (We need to act, not just debate),” he said. /ee
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