The increase in self-rated poverty is yet another indication that the Senate should move on legislative action to address rising prices of food and other goods by suspending the excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.
“Kailangan na natin umaksyon. Solusyunan natin ang krisis sa presyo para tulungan ang mga naghihirap na pamilya,” said Sen. Bam, who has been pushing for the passage of the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill in the Senate.
In its third quarter survey, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) noted an increase in self-rated poverty in September to 52 percent or 12.2 million families. This is four points higher than the 48 percent or 11.1 million families in June 2018.
Sen. Bam urged colleagues to support the minority’s Joint Senate Resolution No. 15, which aims to suspend the excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law and rollback the tax on fuel to December 31, 2017 rates.
“Huwag na nating antayin na ma-certify urgent ito. Umaksyon na po tayo nang kusa. Kung kailangang mag-special session tayo sa Senado habang may session break, gawin na po natin ito,” said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam said a collective action of the Senate will send a clear message to Malacanang on the stand of the Upper Chamber to ease the burden of Filipinos, especially the poor, from the high prices of food and other goods.
“This is a chance to show in word and in action that the Senate wishes to ease the burden of our countrymen and remove the excise tax on petroleum products,” stressed Sen. Bam.
“Seventy four days na lang po, Pasko na! Ito na siguro ang pinakamagandang regalo na maibibigay natin sa pamilyang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam.
On Wednesday, minority senators – composed of Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon and Sens. Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima and Sen. Bam — submitted Senate Joint Resolution No. 15.
In their joint resolution, the minority senators stressed the need for the urgent intervention of the Congress of the Philippines to mitigate the inflationary effects of rising fuel prices by suspending the increases in excise tax on fuel under RA No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
For his part, Sen. Bam filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill as early as May 10, 2018, seeking to suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate breaches the annual inflation target over a three-month period.