Sen. Bam: Do not allow price increase until expanded cash transfer system works

Sen. Bam Aquino stressed that an effective mechanism for the transfer of money to 10 million poor Filipino households under a cash transfer program should be in place before any price increase under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN).

 During the interpellation period of the tax reform measure, Sen. Bam underscored the importance of the cash transfer program to help poor Filipinos bear the brunt of the price increases that may result in the TRAIN implementation once it is passed into law.

The current 4.4 million households under the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or 4 Ps and an additional 5.6 million households are targeted for the cash assistance program of the government.

“The cash transfer is crucial for poor families to cope with the price increase. Without this, the tax reform will be an additional burden to Filipinos in need,” said Sen. Bam.

Under the Senate version, poor households will be given P300 a month for three years to help them deal with any increase in prices brought about by the tax measure. The government estimates that P2.5 billion annually will be used for the cash transfer program.

 “Ang mahihirap na Pilipino ang matatamaan ng pagtaas ng presyo dahil sa tax reform,” Sen. Bam asserted.

“We must not have an increase in prices without ensuring that we have an effective cash transfer system in place for poor families,” Sen. Bam said during his interpellation of the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Sonny Angara.

Sen. Bam suggested that implementing government agencies, led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), must certify that they have an efficient, effective and transparent system in place.

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