Poe calls for more social protection measures vs TRAIN law effects
Senator Grace Poe is calling for “another layer of social protection” to shield the poor, especially those in the provinces from the rising prices of goods and services triggered by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“Sa ibang probinsya, mas mataas ang ibinabayad nila sa utilities at mas mahal ang gasolina,” Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said in a statement on Thursday.
The committee will conduct a public hearing at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to discuss the possible “domino effect” of the TRAIN law. The hearing, said Poe, will focus on fuel, electricity, water and transportation services. It also is aims to hear the complaints of people far from Manila.
“Kailangan din nating marinig ang mga hinaing ng mga nagmamaneho ng jeep, taxi, at bus sa mga probinsya,” Poe said.
“Minsan hindi sila nakakapunta sa Maynila para mapakinggan sa ating mga pagdinig kaya pupunta kami sa Iloilo at ito’y pagkakataon na rin ng ating mga kababayan sa Visayas na makilahok,” she added.
The senator’s statements came after she claimed that a 4.5 percent inflation rate was recorded in April — making it the fastest pace in five years. It was also sparked by the big-time oil price hike last Tuesday, that sent unleaded gasoline prices in certain provinces to almost P70 per liter.
Poe also expressed concern on the alleged effects of the TRAIN law, reasoning that it might have offset any increase on workers’ take-home pay.
The same law exempted workers earning P250,000 or below annually from paying income taxes.
“Kailangang isipin natin kung paano mapagagaan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan lalo na sa probinsya dahil sa pagmahal ng kuryente, tubig at bilihin at ang nakaambang pagtaas ng pamasahe,” said Poe.
Senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito will also be present at the hearing, along with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and other local officials and stakeholders. /muf
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