Gov’t ready to give social grants to mitigate TRAIN effects: Palace

MANILA Two government agencies will start next month the distribution of social grants to mitigate the effect of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), a Palace official said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ready to give PHP10 billion worth of unconditional cash transfer (UCT) to the 10 million poorest Filipino families.

On the other hand, Roque said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will distribute jeepney vouchers for dulyfranchised Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).

The DSWD and DOTr announced this during our recent Cabinet meeting to lessen the effects of TRAIN, Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the UCT beneficiaries will receive PHP200 a month which will increase to PHP300 in 2019 and 2020.

Roque said the amount of jeepney vouchers has not yet been finalized but PHP5,000 per jeepney owner is being considered depending on the TRAIN collection.

It is being ironed out to avoid our experience in the previous administration that even those who have no franchise have been given subsidy, Roque said.

Social grants are part of the mitigating measures under the TRAIN which is the first package of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) envisioned by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to correct a number of deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.

Meanwhile, Roque clarified that there will be no increase on sin taxes since new taxes on sweetened products have already been included under the TRAIN law.

He said the increase in the prices of prime commodities was due to higher cost of petroleum products.

It is not because of TRAIN and it is also because Filipinos have now more money to spend from the (income) taxes that they are no longer paying to the government, from free tuition fee, from conditional cash transfer, UCT and Build, Build, Build projects, Roque explained.

Actually, Roque said Php35 billion worth of disposable income has also contributed to higher prices of basic commodities. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency