Under TRAIN Law: More excise taxes, price hikes in 2020

Jan. 02, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Bayan Muna Party-list reiterated its call to scrap the “regressive provisions” of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) as the third tranche of additional excise taxes will be implemented this 2020.

Bayan Muna warned that diesel prices alone will have a P7 per liter increase this January as an effect to the third tranche of TRAIN Law and diesel conversion of oil tankers worldwide.

The party-list cited the increase of prices in gasoline, kerosene, and diesel by P0.85 per liter, P0.35 per liter, and P0.50 per liter on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the TRAIN Law’s third tranche will impose an increase in diesel prices by P1.50 per liter, as well as prices of gasoline, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas, and lubricating oils up to P1.

It also cited an additional P5 to P10 per liter to be added to diesel prices, based on the computations of the Department of Energy, due to the shift to diesel by tankers transporting oil products.

Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said its tremendous effect on the prices of basic goods will continue to burden consumers this year.

“And while prices of commodities continue to go up, there are no substantial increase in the salaries of our workers,” Zarate said in a phone interview Thursday (Jan. 2).

The lawmaker downplayed the reported downward trend of the country’s inflation during the latter part of 2019 which was boasted by the economic managers of the Duterte administration.

Zarate said it means that price increase “only slowed down” last year, contrary to their demand to reduce the prices of basic commodities.

He said the surge in prices in 2018 — during the first year implementation of TRAIN — when inflation rose to record high 6.7%, are still laid on top of the prices of goods today.

“If the [government] would instead report that the prices of goods like rice went down from around P40 to P27, ordinary consumers would be more elated to that,” he added.

Bayan Muna and other members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives previously filed a bill to repeal the “anti-poor and anti-people” provisions of the TRAIN Law. They also filed a petition to challenge the passage of TRAIN. (davaotoday.com)

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