FOLLOWING a series of discussions with urban poor communities, Senator Bam Aquino reiterated the need to review the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, saying families are struggling with the considerable jump in prices of goods and services.
“Marami nang dumadaing at naaalarma sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin na dulot tax reform program ng pamahalaan,” said Senator Aquino, alluding to Republic Act No. 10963 or TRAIN law.
“Karamihan sa mga nakausap namin, nagrereklamo na dati piso-piso lang ang taas, ngayon ang laki na. Ang laki na ng nabawas sa nabibili nating grocery para sa ating pamilya,” added Aquino.
While the senator acknowledged that the tax reform program has increased the take-home pay of ordinary workers, for some the additional pay is not enough to cover the rise in prices of basic goods on the market.
Recently, Aquino filed Senate Resolution No. 704, urging the appropriate Senate Committees to conduct an inquiry on the TRAIN’s inflationary impact and effect on the economy, particularly the P7 and P2.50 excise tax increase on gasoline and diesel, respectively.
When Congress approved the inclusion of increased excise taxes in the TRAIN Law, the Department of Finance assured lawmakers that its impact on inflation would not be more than 0.7 percent.
However, latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the country’s inflation rate for March hit 4.3 percent, beyond the government’s projection of two to four percent.
“Ngayong lumampas na ang inflation sa pagtaya ng pamahalaan, marapat lang na muli nating pag-aralan ang pagpapataw ng excise tax sa produktong petrolyo,” he said.
In addition, Aquino filed Senate Resolution No. 597, urging the appropriate Senate committee to scrutinize the implementation of the unconditional cash transfer to ensure that it is sufficient to cover the increase in prices of goods and other services.