Sen. Bam: Additional 87 pesos per day for jeepney drivers if TRAIN excise tax is repealed

Sen. Bam Aquino stands by his “No” vote on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, continuing to push for the repeal of the excise tax on fuel for the benefit of drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and commuters.

“Hindi sapat ang suspension. Lubusin na natin ang pagtanggal ng excise tax sa petrolyo ng TRAIN Law. Nalulunod na sa taas presyo ang mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga driver ng mga jeep, tricycle at iba pang PUV,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of TRAIN Law.

“Kung tatanggalin ang excise tax sa petrolyo sa TRAIN Law, hanggang P87 kada araw ang dagdag sa kita ng ating mga jeepney driver,” added Sen. Bam.

The added income is enough for PUV drivers to buy two kilos of rice per day for their families, Sen. Bam pointed out.

Since May 2018, Sen. Bam has been pushing for the suspension and rollback of excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law through his Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill.

The measure aims to suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel once inflation rate breaches the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

In addition, the bill also seeks to roll back the excise tax on petroleum products to December 31, 2017 levels or before the TRAIN Law was implemented.

Sen. Bam also joined other minority senators — Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon and Sens. Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes and Leila de Lima – in filing Senate Joint Resolution No. 15, which seeks to suspend the excise tax under the TRAIN Law and mandate the rollback of levy on fuel to December 31, 2017 rates.


Sen. Bam: Protect commuters and drivers, no jeepney phase-out in March 2019

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) both committed that there will be no phase-out of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) come March 2019. 
“Lahat, pati komyuter, talo sa planong phase-out sa Marso. Kung mawala ang ating mga jeepney, wala ring masasakyan ang ating mga kababayan. Tulungan natin ang mga driver na mag-modernize, imbis na tanggalin lang ang kanilang trabaho’t kabuhayan ng kanilang pamilya,” said Sen. Bam. 
“Plano niyo sanang bawiin ang ang prangkisa ng mga jeep sa Marso, ngunit hindi man lang kinunsulta o tinanong ang transport sector. Gawin natin ito ng tama, huwag muna ituloy itong phase-out,” added Sen. Bam, referring to the Memorandum Circular released by DOTr and LTFRB. 
During the hearing of the Committee on Public Services on the issue of jeepney modernization, LTFRB head Martin Delgra and DOTr Undersecretary Tim Orbos gave their commitment to Sen. Bam Aquino that the phase-out in March will not push through. 
Earlier, Sen. Bam filed a public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization bill with the support of the National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU), Sentro, ACTO, and Philippine Advocates for Transport Convergence. 
In his Senate Bill No. 2056, Sen. Bam seeks to make jeepneys safer and more efficient for commuters and the environment, while ensuring the livelihood of drivers and their families. 
“Nais natin umunlad at umasenso ang mga sistema ng jeepney at tricycle, bus at tren sa bansa – at naniniwala akong may kakayahan tayong gawin ito. Ngunit kailangan din natin siguraduhin na sa programang ito, walang masasagasaang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam. 
If passed into law, jeepneys will be tested based on road-worthiness and financial assistance will be given to owners who need to upgrade their jeepneys. Drivers that wish to shift careers will also be given sufficient compensation.
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