SENATOR Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara has called on the government to use the revenue that will be generated from the new tax reform law on programs that will directly benefit ordinary Filipinos, specifically the improvement of the public transportation system.
According to news reports, for the entire 2017, the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) broke down more than 500 times, with thousands of passengers forced to disembark due to disrupted operations.
“The TRAIN law should fix our trains. Hindi na po makatarungan na libu-libong pasahero ang naaagrabyado dahil sa madalas na despalinghadong serbisyo ng ating MRT at LRT. Dapat ay siguruhin ng gobyerno na ang makokolektang buwis ay mapupunta sa mga programang mapakikinabangan ng bawat Pilipino,” said Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee.
Under Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, 70% of the yearly incremental revenues generated will be allocated to the Build, Build, Build Program and other infrastructure programs that seek to address congestion through better mass transport and new road networks.
The Department of Transportation has cited the lack of available spare parts as one reason for the MRT’s frequent breakdowns.
MRT transports an average of 463,000 people daily.
“If we provide the public an efficient, dependable, safe and affordable public transport system, it would definitely encourage more Filipinos to take mass transit rather than use their own cars, which would reduce traffic congestion in the country,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, part of the 70% will also go to projects that seek to enhance military infrastructure, sports facilities in public schools, and potable drinking water supply in all public places.