Sen. Bam to gov’t: Don’t sacrifice children’s welfare for revenue

Alarmed by report that children’s nutrition is affected by inflation and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Sen. Bam Aquino stressed that their health should be prioritized over government revenue.

“Nakakabahala na mga bata ang pinakatinding tinamaan ng TRAIN Law at mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam, referring to a report by Ateneo de Manila University researchers that Filipino children were deprived of needed nutrients due to high inflation from February to September.

“Huwag ipagpalit sa dagdag na buwis ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak,” added Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

Reiterating his willingness to work with the government to lower prices of food and other goods, Sen. Bam said there is an urgent need to suspend and roll back of the excise tax on petroleum products imposed by the TRAIN Law.

Sen. Bam submitted Senate Bill No. 1798 or the “Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill” last May to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law and roll it back to December 31, 2017 levels.

The only measure in the Senate that seeks to amend the TRAIN Law, Senate Bill No. 1798 aims to suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate surpasses the government’s inflation target for three consecutive months.

Furthermore, Sen. Bam said the government should ramp up the rollout of the social mitigating measures under the TRAIN Law, including the unconditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pasada Program and even the 10-percent discount on NFA rice.

Sen. Bam also called on the government to fully implement Republic Act 11037 or the Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, which aims to eradicate hunger and undernutrition by providing free nutritious meals to public day care, kindergarten and elementary school students.

Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of the measure as principal sponsor and co-author during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

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