Press Release
April 4, 2018

Sen. Bam calls for review of TRAIN amid inflation, rising prices

A senator insisted on evaluating the government tax reform program as he expressed alarm over the latest inflation projections on top of the rising prices of petroleum products and rice in the market.

"Nakakaalarma na para sa mga pamilya ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. Ngayon, mas mataas pa sa inaasahan ng pamahalaan ang inflation rate," said Sen. Bam Aquino, referring to several projections that the inflation rate might range from 4.2 percent to 4.8 percent due to higher excise tax.

The latest projections were beyond the government's forecast of between two to four percent, according to Sen. Bam.

"We should evaluate the tax reform law and consider suspending excise taxes given the surge in prices," added Sen. Bam, who plans to file a resolution to assess the real impact on inflation and economy of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

"Congress should determine the real and actual impact of TRAIN on the economy and especially on the lives of Filipinos," said Sen. Bam, adding that the sharp rise in inflation could lead to a higher cost of living and can aggravate poverty.

"The continued implementation of TRAIN could lead to greater marginalization and suffering for many Filipino families," Sen. Bam emphasized.

During the Senate hearings on TRAIN, Sen. Bam said the Department of Finance (DOF) insisted that the tax reform program's inflationary impact would not be higher than 0.7 percent, meaning inflation should not go higher than 3.6 percent in 2018.

"We have to review the implementation of excise taxes as it was passed by Congress based on wrong information," said Sen. Bam.

Earlier, Sen. Bam voted to reject the TRAIN Law during its ratification.

Sen. Bam also 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.

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