LA TRINIDAD Benguet, July 26(PIA) - - The implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law has a minimal effect on the country’s inflation rate and translates to more benefits to the Filipino people in terms of better income, health and social services and increase in infrastructure projects which open more job opportunities in the construction sector especially in the countryside.
Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II pointed this out during his talk at the Office of the Cabinet Secretary- led regional roll-out of “Biyaya ng Pagbabago” recently at Benguet State University here.
Lambino said that in the 5.2 percent June 2018 inflation rate, TRAIN only contributed 0.4%. Compared with the May 2018 inflation of 4.6%, there was only an increase of 0.6% percent and it is not due to the TRAIN alone. It is mostly is due to the increase in the world price of crude oil and depreciation of Philippine peso, agriculture supply issues particularly the delay of importation of rice by the National Food Authority and increase in the price of fish, and the opening of classes that is correlated with buying of school supplies and increase in tuition fees, he explained.
Lambino pointed out that if the country suspends the implementation of TRAIN as some groups are clamoring, surely inflation will go down but only by a fraction and very minimal compared to the benefits that the people are already getting from it.
He said the implementation of TRAIN last January already resulted to increase in the take- home pay of taxpayers with around P12 billion worth of taxes that low and middle income earners are not paying anymore.
TRAIN also resulted to good infrastructure program for the country which aside from the projects’ benefits to local communities, also opened up more than 93,000 jobs in the construction sector. With the continuing “Build, Build, Build” program, it will create more job opportunities for the Filipino skilled workers, he added.
Lambino also pointed out that TRAIN proceeds from the increase on tax in sugar – based drinks and excise tax on tobacco products are also being used in funding health programs and increase in social benefits.
Under the Unconditional Cash Transfer program, additional P200 per month is given to the 4.2 million household beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, 2.6 million near- poor households and to the 3 million indigent senior citizen- beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program.
By January 2019, medicines for diabetes and cholesterol will be VAT (Value Added Tax) - free, he added.
Lambino outlined that the implementation of TRAIN aims to enable fast and sustained economic growth to the country and at the same time, bring (inclusive) progress to every Filipino.
It is the goal of the government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte to bring down the country’s poverty incidence to 14%, ensure safe and secure communities and make the Philippines a middle - income country by 2022, Lambino said.
‘The country needs the TRAIN for us to attain the change we want, the change towards a better life for every Filipino and a better and safer country to live in’, he added. (PIA CAR)