Senate monitoring inflation, TRAIN mitigating measure’s effectiveness

MANILA Senator Sherwin Gatchalian floated plans to suspend the second tranche of excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law if the hike on inflation rate continues in the fourth quarter of the year.

But for the meantime, the Senate will continue to keep an eye on the "momentum of inflation."

"Kung pababa na siya in the next few months then I will... definitely there's no need to suspend the second tranche of excise tax. That means the mitigating measures are effective and inflation is already subsiding but if tuloy-tuloy pa rin siya until 4th quarter of this year then we will need a drastic measure to address this continuous rise of inflation and one of the measure we are thinking is the suspension of the second tranche," he said.

(If it drops in the next few months then I will... definitely there's no need to suspend the second tranche of excise tax. That means the mitigating measures are effective and inflation is already subsiding but if the hike is continuous until the 4th quarter of this year then we will need a drastic measure to address this continuous rise of inflation and one of the measure we are thinking is the suspension of the second tranche.)

The unconditional cash transfer (UCT) and the Pantawid Pasada or the fuel subsidy program are among the mitigating measures the government placed to cushion the TRAIN's impact on the poor.

Under the package one of TRAIN, implemented in January 2018, taxes on petroleum products, sugar-sweetened drinks, and cars were raised, which was then widely blamed for the spike in inflation. The next tranche for an increased tax on diesel and gas is scheduled in 2019.

In an interview, Gatchalian assured that the Senate will hold continuous dialogue with the country's economic managers to monitor whether the social mitigating measures are effective, as well as to track if the forecasted downward trajectory of inflation rate will be recorded in the coming months.

The Senate committees on Economic Affairs and Ways and Means held a hearing on the inflationary effect of the TRAIN law on Thursday.

"Gagawin naming itong hearing on a regular basis para ma-monitor nating mabuti ang presyo at ang pagtaas ng inflation. By the end of 3rd quarter or early 4th quarter, we will have a clearer picture kung ano ang ire-recommend," Gatchalian said.

(We will conduct this on a regular basis so that we can monitor the prices of goods and the increase in inflation rate. By the end of the 3rd quarter or early 4th quarter, we will have a clearer picture of what to recommend.)

Also pushing for the suspension of excise tax was Senator Bam Aquino.

"Ang pinaka mainam na solution dito pag mataas ang inflation i-suspend i roll-back natin yung mga buwis sa ating diesel at gasolina," he said.

The senator said an additional tax on fuel indirectly affect the movement of prices in basic goods. "Alam naman natin lahat (na) ang produkto sa merkado gumagamit ng transportasyon, yung price of fuel nagtutulak din po iyan ng wages pataas, may domino effect iyan," he said.

(We all know the products in the market uses transportation, the prices of fuel drive higher wage, there is a domino effect there.) (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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