A House leader has filed a bill suspending the excise tax on petroleum products imposed under Republic Act (RA) No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers filed House Bill (HB) No. 8369 to repeal Sec. 43 of the TRAIN Law
“Prices of fuel have increased significantly and will be much higher on the next tranche of implementation of TRAIN in 2019 and 2020. The increase in fuel prices affects the prices of basic goods and services as producers or manufacturers may pass production costs to consumers,” said Barbers.
Barbers also said that while the TRAIN Law gives relief to taxpayers by to lowering personal income tax (PIT) rates, the burden falls heavily on the shoulders of minimum wage earners.
”Matagal na pong nagdurusa ang ating mga mahihirap na kababayan. Ang ating mga trabahador na hindi naman nababawasan ng income tax simula pa man, hindi nila naramdaman na nadagdagan ang pera na inuuwi nila sa kanilang mga pamilya. Ngunit ramdam na ramdam nila ang bigat ng pagtaas ng lahat ng presyo ng bilihin dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis,” Barbers stated.
Barbers also noted that Sec. 82 of the TRAIN Act seeks to mitigate the effects of the law by providing unconditional cash transfers, fuel vouchers to qualified PUJ franchise holders, fare discount, reduced price of NFA rice, and free skills training. However, the same section also states that to ensure that the grants will reach the legitimate beneficiaries, the National ID system must first be fully implemented.
“These measures provide reprieve. But they need to be complemented by the full implementation of the National ID System Law. Ibig sabihin, talagang mararamdaman muna ng ating mga kababayan ang hirap,” Barbers said.