Senator Bam Aquino renewed his call to the government to hasten the implementation of the cash transfer program to help 10 million poor Filipino families bear the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) on the prices of goods and services.
"Kung talagang seryoso tayong gawing positibo ang epekto ng TRAIN sa ekonomiya at sa lahat ng kababayan natin, itong programang ito na tutulong sa 10 million Filipinos - 10 million Filipino families, should be in place at the soonest possible time," Sen. Bam said in a television interview.
Sen. Bam pointed out that the funds needed for the cash transfer program was already included in the 2018 budget and the exact date of its implementation is the only issue.
"Hopefully, the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Finance (DOF) will speed up the process. Sana huwag nang patagalin ang programang ito, gawin nila as fast as they can, and as efficiently as possible," Sen. Bam emphasized.
Based on the recommendation by the DOF, the law provides a cash grant of P200 a month to poor families on the first year. The monthly financial assistance will be increased to P300 for the second and third year to help cover the increase in prices of basic goods.
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 the senator to vote against its ratification.
"Without a cash transfer program in place, poor Filipinos will bear the brunt of the increase in prices of goods and services due to the TRAIN," Sen. Bam emphasized.
Also, Sen. Bam called on the government to be transparent in the selection and disbursement of the cash transfer program.
"Aside from ensuring that it will be implemented at the soonest possible time, the government must conduct its rollout without any political patronage or accommodation," added Sen. Bam.
Source: Senate of the Philippines