By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY — The Department of Finance (DOF) clarified the issue concerning the 2,400 subsidies to every family who were the most affected by Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law in a press conference Wednesday at the Henry’s Hotel here.
TRAIN law was passed in the Congress on December last year and has been blamed for all the increasing prices of commodities, particularly on cars, tobacco, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fuel.
“When we proposed the TRAIN law, we acknowledged that there will be an increase of the prices because of the excise tax, but it does not totally cause the increase of prices of the common commodities,” said Arnelyn Abdon, Director IV Strategy, Economic and Research Group of DOF.
Abdon voiced-out the process prior to the decision made for the 2,400 subsidies to every family due to the complaints and demands from the 1.8 million marginalized Filipino citizens, particularly to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.
The 2,400 subsidies ran to P26 billion to be released on September 2018.
Abdon explained that when they do the calculation from the poorest to richest, 2,400 were enough to offset the inflation impact of TRAIN. “We are not saying that it is enough to provide all their needs, but it is enough to offset the negative impact that they are experiencing,” she added.
“The inflation is not only about the TRAIN.” Abdon clarified that TRAIN is not anti-poor. She said that there will be more dangers than good things to happen if it will be suspended.
TRAIN is what the country needs. It is the most important reform why our economy is doing well today, Abdon said. (With reports from Larnie Bacalando)