Makabayan bloc seeks to scrap ‘regressive’ provisions of TRAIN law

MANILALawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Thursday filed a measure seeking to repeal certain "regressive" and "anti-poor" provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

The seven-member bloc filed House Bill 7653, which seeks to repeal regressive taxes including additional excise tax on petroleum, excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages, and expansion of the coverage of the value-added tax (VAT).

Members of the Makabayan bloc are Gabriela Reps. Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teacher Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.

In the bill's explanatory note, the lawmakers cited Philippine Statistics Authority data, showing that the tax reform law has both direct and indirect effects on the cost of goods, with price hikes "particularly felt by the poor during the start of the year."

The group noted that the poor and low-income families should be taxed as lightly as possible while provided with basic social and economic services.

"Instead of heavily taxing the poor through VAT and excise taxes on petroleum products and sugar-sweetened beverages, higher taxes should be levied on those who have more capacity, in our case, the big foreign and local corporations and landlords," the progressive bloc said.

The bill also seeks to repeal the whole section on distribution of incremental revenues from TRAIN, earmarking a 70 percent allocation for the "Build, Build, Build" program and a 30 percent allocation for social services.

The bill proposes to restore the VAT exemption of sales of electricity by generation companies, transmission by any entity, and distribution companies, including electric cooperatives; and VAT exemption of low cost housing.

It shall restore the 3 percent tax exemption of cooperatives, self-employed and professionals with gross receipts of PHP2 million and below.

The bill also seeks to restore the personal exemption worth PHP50,000 and PHP25,000 per dependent. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency