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Tropical storms – PAGASA; Economic storm – Palace

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PUNCHLINE
By FRED LOBO

Monsoon rains and floods tormented a big part of Luzon and other parts of the country mainly due to tropical storms “Gardo,” “Henry,” and “ Inday.”

Here come typhoons and “habagat.” Brace up, folks!

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Meanwhile, Malacanang expressed concern on a possible P102-billion revenue loss if the fuel tax is suspended amid challenge against the new TRAIN Law.

Here comes “economic storm,” warns the Palace.

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The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the series of storms enhanced the southwest monsoon or “habagat.”

Moderate to heavy rains over Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, and Western Visayas plus scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the rest of the country. Whew!

***

PAGASA advised residents of low-lying and mountainous areas to continue monitoring PAGASA updates and coordinate with their local disaster risk reduction and management offices.

Beware of possible flooding and landslides, it warned.

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PAGASA also advised fisherfolk and seafarers against sailing into the sea during bad weather.

Taking the necessary precaution is easier than drowning, folks.

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The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said it will continue to announce suspension of classes and work during continuing inclement weather.

Yes to early advisories for the safety of the public.

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Three pumping stations are being used to ensure less flooding in Metro Manila, said MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia.

Make them work better. No to “lulubog-lilitaw.”

***

The Joint Quick Response Team for Transportation said it dispatched military trucks to various flooded parts of Metro Manila.

More free rides for stranded folks.

***

The government said it will lose the bulk of its revenue from the first tax reform law should the proposed suspension of fuel excise taxes be implemented next year.

Economic storm coming, the Department of Finance (DOF) warned.

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DOF officials said Senate Bill (SB) No. 1798, which seeks to suspend excise taxes on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), will result in P101.8 billion in foregone revenues in 2019 alone.
A crippling blow to government coffers, it said.

***

They pointed out that if Sen. Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV’s SB 1798 is passed into law, the excise tax on petroleum under the TRAIN law will be automatically suspended once the average rate of increase in consumer prices surpasses the inflation target over a three-month period.

A projected loss of 70.6 percent from the P144.2 billion expected TRAIN revenue next year, they said.

***

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that despite proposals to suspend the implementation of the TRAIN law, several social mitigating measures to counter inflation are being implemented under the law such as Conditional Cash Transfer and fuel vouchers for public utility jeepneys as approved by PresidentDuterte.
Yes to more social amelioration and anti-inflation measures.

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