Gatchalian eyes suspension of TRAIN law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2018 07:08 PM | Updated as of Aug 16 2018 08:47 PM

MANILA - Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said his committee might recommend the suspension of the tax reform law upon hearing the incomplete status of government programs designed to cushion the law's effect on inflation.

Gatchalian, head of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, took note of the National Food Authority's failure to provide affordable rice to the poor.

The poorest 30 percent of the population suffer the most from rising prices of goods, particularly food items such as rice, a statistics expert told senators during a hearing on the inflationary effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. 

Gatchalian said the increase in the prices of vegetables, fish, meat and rice without an effective mitigating measure indicates a more difficult situation come 2019.

"Ito ang isa sa pinaka-importanteng binibili ng taong-bayan so kung magtutuloy-tuloy ang pagtaas nito hanggang 2019, then we might recommend the suspension of TRAIN or the second tranche in 2019," Gatchalian told reporters.

(This is among the most important commodity people buy, so if the price will continue to increase until 2019, then we might recommend the suspension of TRAIN or the second tranche in 2019.)

Failure to implement said programs spells negative on the performance of the concerned government agencies, he said.

Gatchalian also advised congressmen to analyze the situation in the country first, before considering the approval of TRAIN's second package.