How about the country’s poor?
Senator Bam Aquino raised this question as he opposed moves to remove the earmarking provision of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), which is aimed at helping country’s poor cope with the expected increase in prices of goods and services brought about by the government’s proposed tax measure.
“This tax measure will hit the poorest of our countrymen the hardest. It’s necessary on our part to have the earmarking and an effective cash transfer program para sa ating mahihirap na kababayan,” said Sen. Bam during the period of amendments for TRAIN.
Earmarking allots parts of revenues generated from the tax measure to several priority programs, including financial assistance to the country’s poor through an unconditional cash transfer program to help them cope with the expected price increase once the measure is enacted into law.
Based on computation, the country’s poor will be given a P300 monthly financial assistance for a certain period of time to help cover the increase in prices of basic goods due to additional tax on sugar beverages and petroleum.
“Kailangan matiyak na mayroong makukuhang tulong kada buwan mula sa pamahalaan ang mga mahihirap na pamilya upang mabalanse ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. Kung hindi natin gagawin iyan, we will be passing a measure which will hit our poorest countrymen the worst,” Sen. Bam stressed, adding that the Department of Finance itself presented the cash transfer program as the best solution to help the country’s poor cope with the increase in prices.
During the period of amendments, Sen. Bam committed to present proposals on how to ensure that the welfare of the country’s poor will be protected under this tax reform program.
“Kailangan nating isipin ang kapakanan ng mga kababayan nating mahihirap na siyang tatamaan nang husto sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam.