Sen. Bam: Drop in President’s approval signals cry for help from high prices, poverty

The 11-point drop in President Duterte’s approval rating is a cry for help from the Filipino people amid the rising prices of goods due to the government’s tax reform program, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Paalala po ito sa ating pangulo mula sa ating mga kababayan na nalulunod sa taas presyo na pakinggan ang kanilang hiling na ipreno na ang TRAIN,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Senyales ito na lalo nang nahihirapan sa buhay ang mga Pilipino. Bigyan natin sila ng kaunting ginhawa,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after Duterte’s net approval rating dropped by 11 points from a “very good” 56 percent to a personal-low 45 percent, according to the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Sen. Bam is hoping that President Duterte will tackle the issue of TRAIN Law and high prices of goods in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Umaasa kami na pupunan ng pansin sa SONA ang isyu ng pagtaas ng presyo. Sana suportahan ng Pangulo ang pagroll-back sa excise tax sa petrolyo,” added Sen. Bam, referring to his measure that aims to suspend and roll back the excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law.

Under Sen. Bam’s measure, the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law will be suspended and rolled back once average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

Sen. Bam also is pushing for the full implementation of mitigating measures under the TRAIN Law, such as the unconditional cash transfer program for poor families and the Pantawid Pasada for jeepney operators and drivers.

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