NOTING the considerable increase in the prices of goods and services, Sen. Bam Aquino has underscored the need to review the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.
Aquino sought the review of the highly-controversial piece of legislation following a series of consultations with leaders of the so-called “urban poor” in various parts of the country.
“Marami nang dumadaing at naaalarma sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin na dulot ng tax reform program ng pamahalaan,” said Aquino, referring to Republic Act No. 10963 or the TRAIN law.
He added: “Karamihan sa mga nakausap namin, nagrereklamo na dati piso-piso lang ang taas, ngayon ang laki na. Ang laki ng nabawas sa nabibili nating grocery para sa ating pamilya.”
The young lawmaker acknowledged that the tax reform program of the Duterte administration, which ends on June 30, 2022, has increased the take-home pay of ordinary workers.
But he was quick to explain that for some, the additional pay is not enough to cover the substantial rise in the prices of basic commodities not only in the metropolis but elsewhere.
Aquino had earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 704, urging the concerned Senate committees to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the TRAIN Act’s effect on the domestic economy.
Without doubt, the inflationary impact of RA No. 10963 ought to worry the suffering Filipino people, particularly the ordinary wage earners who find it hard to make both ends meet.
When Congress approved the inclusion of increased excise taxes in the law, the Department of Finance assured lawmakers that its impact on inflation would not be more than 0.7 percent.
But latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the inflation rate for March hit 4.3 percent, which is beyond the government’s projection of two to four percent.
Thus, a review of the TRAIN Act is a move in the right direction as proposed by Senator Aquino.