By the Philippine News Agency
Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez has warned retailers against using the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act to gain unfair profit.
“To those who will take advantage and will increase prices beyond our projected amount, we will ask them to explain and as to the penalty, the amount is from P20,000 to P1 million per store,” Lopez said during a Bangon Marawi press conference in Malacañang on Friday.
Lopez explained that while oil products and soft drinks are directly affected by a new excise tax, “the percentage increase is very small.”
He added the impact of TRAIN on other products is very negligible, like in canned goods, which should increase by only five centavos.
“It’s hard to imagine because the impact is only five cents on canned goods,” he added.
Contrary to the reported four-peso fare hike being asked by some transport groups, Lopez said the increase should not even reach one peso.
“Based on my computation, it should be only 80 cents, but of course, it’s the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) that will decide on the petition,” he said.
Lopez added that the actual impact of the TRAIN should be more of positive, since wage earners with P21,000 and below monthly salary will no longer be deducted with personal income tax.
“Imagine, they will no longer pay P6,000 tax because they are exempted already. That’s additional budget or possible saving for them,” he said.
Lopez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is accelerating its campaign to explain to the public the positive impact of the TRAIN on the majority of Filipinos.
“There is no reason for them to panic because it (TRAIN) has a very little impact, especially on the prices of goods. There are some people who are really creating fears. So we will clarify it,” Lopez said.
Last Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the real highlight of the TRAIN is the huge proceeds it will bring for the construction of infrastructure crucial to the country’s economic growth.
Lopez urged the public to report to the DTI’s Consumer Protection Advocacy Division hotline 751-3233 or 751-0384 any unscrupulous firms engaging in unfair trade practices or using the TRAIN for profiteering activities.