Sen. Bam to gov’t: Time to roll back fuel tax, suspend TRAIN law

Senator Bam Aquino stressed that it’s high time for the government to address the high prices of goods and services amid the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) projection that inflation rate could reach as high as 5.1 percent in June and the further weakening of the peso.

“Sa paghina ng piso, lalong nalulunod sa taas presyo ang mga Pilipino. Malaking porsiyento ng mga produkto sa merkado ay mayroong imported na raw materials, kaya ang tama ng pagbaba ng peso ay pagtaas na naman ng presyo,” said Sen. Bam, dispelling the statement of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that weakening peso is not bad for the country.

“Pareho ang sinasabi ng datos ng gobyerno at karanasan ng maraming Pilipino, nalulunod ang taumbayan sa tumitinding taas presyo,” added Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.   

Sen. Bam maintained that the rise in inflation rate and the weakening peso are reasons enough for the government to suspend the TRAIN Law.

“Ano pa po ba ang patunay na kailangan ng gobyerno para isuspinde na ang pahirap na TRAIN?” emphasized Sen. Bam, who has been conducting dialogues with different sectors around the country on the effects of the TRAIN Law in the prices of goods and services..

“Sabi nga po ng isang tindera sa Bicol, kaming mahihirap ang ginawang riles para umandar ang TRAIN,” said Sen. Bam, adding that most, if not all, of the people whom he talked to are already burdened by the government’s tax reform law.

“Dumarami pa po ang nasasagasaan ng TRAIN, kailan po ihihinto ng gobyerno pahirap na ito,” added the senator, who has been pushing for the suspension and rollback of the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law to help lower the prices of goods.

Sen. Bam called on the government to support his measure calling for the immediate suspension of the excise tax on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law to ease the public’s burden.   

If passed into law, Sen. Bam’s measure will roll back the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law once average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.   

 Sen. Bam also called on the government to fully implementation the mitigating measures under the TRAIN Law, such as the unconditional cash transfer program for poor families and the Pantawid Pasada for jeepney operators and drivers.

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