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Senate may probe TRAIN’s inflation impact

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Bam Aquino TRAIN
PHILSTAR

SENATOR Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV wants the Senate to conduct an inquiry on the tax reform law’s inflationary impact and effect on the economy.

In a resolution filed April 5, the senator said the government needed “another look” at Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act after a rise in prices of goods and services due to the additional excise tax on petroleum products.

“It is our duty to ensure all reforms benefit our countrymen and do not make life more difficult for Filipinos. TRAIN should be studied once again. Let us be open to suspend excise tax if we see that it has harmful effects to the lives of Filipinos,” he said in a statement.

The tax reform law imposed an increase in tax on gasoline and diesel to P7 per liter and P2.50 per liter, respectively.

Mr. Aquino also pointed out that Congress approved the inclusion of increased excise taxes in the TRAIN law due to the assurance of the Department of Finance (DoF) that its impact on inflation would not be more than 0.7%.

He said this was contrary to reports of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that the inflation rate hit 4.3% in March.

“According to DoF, the TRAIN’s inflationary impact would not be more than 0.7%, which means that the inflation rate should not go higher than 3.6% in 2018,” the senator stated in his resolution.

“It is imperative for Congress to determine the real and actual impact of TRAIN on the country’s economy and the lives of our constituents,” he added.

Mr. Aquino was among the four senators who voted against the tax reform law’s ratification of Congress last December. — Camille A. Aguinaldo