Duterte: TRAIN law keeps gov't running

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2019 11:16 PM

BANGUED, Abra - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday defended the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law after it was blamed by several senatorial candidates for the high fuel cost and inflation in the country.

The President told voters in Bangued, Abra that taxes collected under the TRAIN law will be used to fund the government’s massive infrastructure projects.

“Sa Build, Build, Build, ‘yon ‘yung TRAIN. Eh paano ko matuloy ‘yan kung kinakalaban lang nila? Paano ko masuwelduhan ‘yung mga maestra? Paano ako magbili ng mga eroplano? I need to keep this government running,” Duterte said in a speech during the PDP-Laban campaign rally.

Last year, when the government began implementing the TRAIN law, inflation zoomed and went beyond the government’s goal of 2 to 4 percent.

Some senatorial candidates have been pushing for the suspension of the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN law.

But inflation slowed down in February, returning to the target range, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised the benchmark borrowing rate by 175 basis points in 5 successive policy meetings in 2018 to tame price spikes.