ILOILO City – Various organizations and personalities in the city have gathered on Wednesday to form the broad network to oppose the anti-poor but pro-rich tax reform law of President Duterte.
Named SCRAP TRAIN NETWORK, the newly formed alliance claimed that Duterte’s new tax law is geared to fatten business tycoons’ pockets while emptying the poor’s.
“These business oligarchs like Henry Sy, Manny Pangilinan, Ramon Ang, among other billionaires will be benefiting largely from managing and profiting infrastructure projects under Build, Build, Build such as superhighways, subways, mega dams and airports,” said Bayan Panay secretary general and SCRAP TRAIN Network lead convenor Elmer Forro.
The government aims to collect PHP1.3 trillion from TRAIN and will be used to finance Duterte’s infrastructure projects.
“But these projects, as what we have experienced, shall be taken over by private companies that will turn them into businesses that will deny the poor affordable access to these projects,” Forro added.
The TRAIN however will lower personal income taxes of professionals and uniformed officers in the government. But this does not translate to savings, Bayan Muna claimed.
According to Bayan Muna, a family of five will have an additional PHP2,442.75 expenses monthly due to direct and indirect impact of TRAIN.
Previously, items without excise tax are now taxed under TRAIN. Diesel will have an additional PHP2.50/L, sugar-sweetened beverages such concentrated juices at PHP6.00/L and softdrinks at PHP10.00/L.
Meanwhile, local shipping, housing, electric transmissions and cooperative are now added with 12% VAT which are previously not taxed. Gasoline on the other hand will have an increase from PHP4.00 to PHP7.00 for excise tax.
“Basic logic would tell us that price increases in oil petroleum products will have a domino effect on basic commodities’ prices. It is being felt right now by ordinary Filipinos especially the poor whose wages remain low and meager. That makes Duterte’s TRAIN anti-poor,” said Forro.
The network is expected to conduct series of information campaign drives, lobbying efforts and mobilizations to push for the scrapping of TRAIN.
“Instead of taxing the poor, Duterte should run after these billionaires and corporations who still have unpaid taxes of PHP400 billion according to IBON. A progressive tax system should be implemented by taxing those who earn more, lower taxes of consumers goods especially the scrapping of VAT and increase the minimum wage to PHP750.00/day for private and PHP16,000.00/month for the government,” Forro ended. (panaytoday.net)