TANAUAN, Batangas — Representatives from different sectors here aired their grievance over the high prices of goods as they pushed for the immediate passage of Sen. Bam Aquino’s Bawas Presyo Bill into law.
“Hindi man ito prayoridad ng gobyerno, certified urgent ito ng mga mahihirap na Pilipinong nalulunod na sa taas-presyo,” Sen. Bam said during the “Kumustahang Bayan” held at the Trading Post in Tanauan, Batangas.
“Sana marinig ng pamahalaan ang hinaing ng ating mga kababayan at samahan tayo sa pagsusulong upang maisabatas na ang ating panukala, lalo na’t magtataas na naman ang excise tax sa petrolyo sa Enero dahil sa TRAIN Law,” added Sen. Bam
During the dialogue, representatives from the farmers, senior citizens, tricycle drivers, market vendors, and fisherfolk sectors informed Sen. Bam how the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law has affected their livelihood.
“Mataas ang kuha namin ng gulay, ngunit hindi namin ito puwedeng ibenta nang masyadong mahal dahil wala nang bibili sa amin,” said Lucile Mangaya, a vegetable vendor.
“Marami na ang natitira sa aming paninda. Natutuyo at nabubulok na lang ang mga ito,” she added.
Francisco Reyes, a tricycle driver, said the high price of gasoline has affected his daily income that prevented him from providing enough food and clothing for his family.
“Para mabawi namin ang gastos sa gasolina, dapat lima ang sakay namin bawat biyahe. Pero dahil apat lang ang kasya sa tricycle, lugi na agad ang pasada namin,” said Reyes.
Nick Chavez, president of the senior citizens’ organization in Tanauan, said they have yet to receive the additional P200 monthly financial assistance under the TRAIN Law.
“Likas na matiisin ang mga Batangueño, kahit sa pagtaas ng presyo. Pero iba na talaga ang pagtaas ng presyo ngayon, hindi na po namin kaya,” said Chavez
The representatives urged Sen. Bam to do everything he can to have his Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill enacted into law to ease the burden caused by high prices of goods.
“Kailangang-kailangan nang maisabatas ang panukala ni Sen. Bam dahil hirap na hirap na po kami sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin,” said Marissa Gatdula, president of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI).
Sen. Bam, for his part, has committed to work for the passage of his measure, which aims to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.
If passed, the Bawas Presyo Bill will roll-back this year’s increase in the excise tax on petroleum and will suspend another scheduled increase in January 1, 2019.
Sen. Bam is one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.