A senator warned that the increase in prices of gasoline due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) may have a domino effect on the prices of goods and other services in the market.
"Nakakabahala ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin dahil sa pagpataw ng buwis sa langis. Dagdag gastos na naman ito sa pamilyang Pilipino," said Sen. Bam Aquino, who rejected the TRAIN's ratification in the Senate.
The TRAIN mandates the imposition of excise tax of P2.50 per liter on diesel and bunker fuel starting this year, P4.50 in 2019 and P6 in 2020. For gasoline, the excise tax will be increased from P4.35 per liter to P7 this year, P9 in 2019, and P10 in 2020.
Sen. Bam said the increase in prices of petroleum will lead to an increase in prices of goods, which will ultimately fall on the shoulders of consumers, especially poor Filipinos, who are currently struggling to make ends meet.
"Sa huli, mahihirap na Pilipino pa rin ang papasan at magdurusa sa epektong dulot ng TRAIN sa presyo ng bilihin," added Sen. Bam, who voted against the TRAIN's approval due to the inability of government to implement a financial assistance program in time for the increase in prices due to provisions on excise tax on fuel and sweetened beverage tax.
The Department of Finance (DOF) proposed a cash transfer program with a P200 monthly financial assistance on the first year and P300 monthly financial assistance for the second and third year to help cover the increase in prices of basic goods.
Sen. Bam pushed for the immediate implementation of the cash transfer program to help poor Filipinos absorb the expected increase in the prices of goods and services. However, Sen. Bam's proposal was not accepted by during the period of amendments in the Senate.
"The government must speed up the implementation of the cash transfer program so poor people won't be burdened by the increase in prices," said Sen. Bam.
The lawmaker is also hoping that the increase in take-home pay will be enough to offset the increase in prices of goods and services.
Source: Senate of the Philippines