Press Release
March 6, 2018

Sen. Bam to gov't: Where is financial assistance for rising prices?

With effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act now being felt by the public coupled with the rise in the price of rice and lack of affordable NFA rice in the market, Sen. Bam Aquino urged the government to immediately implement the cash transfer program for poor Filipinos.

"Tumataas na ang presyo ng mga bilihin dahil sa tax reform, na sinabayan pa ng pagkawala ng NFA Rice sa merkado. Nasaan na ang financial assistance para sa mga mahihirap na pamilyang Pilipino?" said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam made the pronouncement amid the increase in prices of basic goods due to TRAIN and the sudden rise in prices of rice in the market due to lack of supply of NFA Rice.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) also announced on Tuesday that the country's inflation rate in February was at 4.5 percent, the fastest in over three years.

"Masyado nang mabigat ang pasaning dala ng ating mga kababayan dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. Panahon na upang madaliin ng pamahalaan ang paglabas ng tulong para sa sampung milyong mahihirap nating kababayan," said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam was referring to the financial assistance mandated by Republic Act No. 10963 or TRAIN Act to 10 million poor Filipinos to counter the expected increase in prices of goods. In 2018, they will receive P200 monthly followed by a P300 monthly cash subsidy in 2019 and 2010.

During the measure's period of amendments in the Senate, Sen. Bam pushed for the immediate implementation of the financial assistance program to help poor Filipinos absorb the expected increase in the prices of goods and services.

However, Sen. Bam's proposal was not accepted, prompting him to reject the ratification of the measure.

Recently, Sen. Bam filed Senate Resolution No. 597, urging the appropriate Senate committee to scrutinize the implementation of the unconditional cash transfer to ensure that it is sufficient to cover the increase in prices of goods and other services.

In his resolution, Sen. Bam also called on the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to check if household incomes are enough to absorb these rising costs.

"Gusto rin natin alamin kung sapat na ang 200 pesos kada buwan na cash transfer, lalo na ngayong tumataas na rin ang presyo ng kuryente at bigas," said Sen. Bam.

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