Instead of pushing for the passage of its second package, Senator Bam Aquino urged the government the first address the woes inflicted by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law to the Filipino people.
“Hindi pa nakaka-move on ang taumbayan sa TRAIN 1, TRAIN 2 na ang pinag-uusapan. Alam naman po nating madami pa rin ang napeperwisyo ng TRAIN Law,” said Sen. Bam, one of senators who voted against the ratification of the government’s tax reform program.
On Monday, President Duterte said around four million Filipino families have benefited from the unconditional cash transfer given by the government as part of the TRAIN Law. However, Sen. Bam said there is a long way to go for the government as it has yet to release assistance to six million more poor Filipino families.
“Nabanggit pa sa SONA na maraming natutulungang mahirap ang TRAIN. Ipinagmalaki na apat na milyon ang nabigyan ng tulong sa TRAIN Law, pero kulang pa ng 6 milyon. Hindi ba bagsak ang grado na 40%?” added Sen. Bam.
“Aksyunan na lang natin ang problema. Kailangang isalba ang nalulunod sa taas presyo, lalo na ang mahihirap na Pilipino,” Sen. Bam insisted.
Sen. Bam said Congress should prioritize the suspension and rollback of excise tax under the TRAIN Law, instead of working on the passage of TRAIN 2.
Sen. Bam has filed a measure that seeks to suspend and roll back the excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law.
Under Sen. Bam’s measure, the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law will be suspended and rolled back once average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.
The senator emphasized that a suspension and rollback are necessary as there is a scheduled increase in excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law come January 2019.