Senator Bam Aquino challenged the government’s financial managers to personally go down to the people and listen to their plea on the high prices of goods due to Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“Totoo po yan, numbers don’t lie. Pumunta po kayo sa palengke, hindi po nagsisinungaling ang presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the government’s tax reform program.
“Ang ‘hard fact’ po ay nalulunod ang mga Pilipino sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin,” the senator added.
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after Budget Secretary Ben Diokno said that “hard facts” will refute President Duterte’s statement that the economy is in the doldrums due to high prices of goods.
“Sana mag-usap muna ang Presidente at ang Budget Secretary upang klaruhin ang estado ng ekonomiya. Mas mainam kung bumisita na rin sila sa mga komunidad upang malaman kung ano ang dinadanas ng mga pamilyang nasasagasaan ng kanilang polisiya,” Sen. Bam asserted.
Sen. Bam urged the administration to support his measure calling for the immediate suspension of the excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law to ease the public’s burden.
Under Sen. Bam’s measure, the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law will be rolled back once average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.
Sen. Bam also called on the government to fully implementation the 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.