TEN million of the “poorest folks” will get cash assistance to cushion the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law, particularly a spike in the prices of basic commodities owing to the increase in the petroleum excise tax.
Finance chief Sonny Dominguez said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been mandated to distribute cash transfers to about 10 million poorest Filipino families.
Dominguez added that each of the family will receive P2,400 annual cash aid in the first quarter of this year.
In 2019 and 2020, P3,600 will be distributed in annual cash transfers.
Dominguez also said that the tax reform will help raise P786 billion in revenue over 5 years, helping raise funds for President Rodrigo Duterte’s massive infrastructure overhaul.
He added that the government hopes to account for “more or less” P2 trillion of the P8 trillion project pipeline to avoid incurring too much debt.
This year alone, tax reform is expected to generate P129 billion, P89.9 billion from the law signed last December, and P38.9 billion from supplemental legislation due early this year.
Dominguez said the additional tax revenues could help fund 629,120 public school classrooms, pay for the salaries of 2,685,101 public school teachers and build 60,483 rural health units or 484,326 barangay health stations.
The first package of reforms raised taxes on fuel, cars and sugar sweetened drinks to offset a reduction on personal income tax rates.
Dominguez said a household consuming 100 kilowatt-hours per month would now pay roughly P793 instead of P780 to account for taxes on coal and diesel.
The price of a 1-liter of bottle of regular soft drinks will increase to P42 from P30 while the same volume of diet soft drinks will rise to P36 from P30.