Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Tuesday the Trabaho Bill or TRAIN 2, which was approved by the House on third reading, remains an administration priority measure so it will be heard by the Senate ways and means committee.
“I expect the committee to hold many hearings, to consult with various stakeholders. I support the objectives of TRAIN 2 to lower income taxes by rationalizing incentives, although I question the timing, Recto said.
He made the statement even as Youth groups led by Anakbayan and the League of Filipino Students staged a protest action in Trabajo Market in Manila to protest the approval of the TRABAHO bill.
The TRABAHO Law or TRAIN 2 is the second package of the controversial Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law that critics claim is responsible for accelerating the inflation rate to 6.4 percent in August.
TRAIN 2, Recto said, may be inflationary because it increases the taxes on domestic industries such as housing, power and petroleum, among others. It will also increase taxes and cost of exporters and BPOs, and therefore reduce the incentives to invest in enterprises that earn foreign exchange that the economy needed badly.
He said the reduction in corporate income taxes may not be enough to attract investment at this time considering the global economic events.
Senator Bam Aquino called on President Rodrigo Duterte to directly address issues that affect the Filipino people, like the high prices of goods and not use politics to divert the public’s attention.
Instead of politicking, Aquino said, Duterte must inspire government officials and the opposition to work together in finding solutions to pressing problems, such as the high prices of goods.
“Let us have unity in looking for solutions that have been the clamor of the public,” Aquino said.
Aquino has filed Senate Bill 1798, or the Bawas Presyo Bill, which aims to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period. He expects the President will suspend the excise tax in January.