Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said that the proposed tax reform program of the Duterte administration under the TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion to impose additional taxes on sweetened beverages and other major commodities should be revisited in the next session of the Senate.
According to Ejercito, he’s also urging the president’s economic managers to review the government’s position on TRAIN as well as its expected strong impact especially on the poor.
Ejercito is particularly concerned about the impact of TRAIN on the rise in prices of basic commodities especially in food.
The senator said there may be no need for Congress to pass the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill now that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seems to be improving its collection.
According to Ejercito, the government must first look at the need for TRAIN especially that the latest collection of the Bureau of Customs has reached P42-Billion.
“I consider it as a strong argument against the TRAIN the recent developments where the BOC collected P42-billion worth of import duties and taxes last October, which is the highest take in a month in the bureau’s history,” Ejercito said of the agency.
“If we will only improve our tax and duties collections and also tighten the noose on smugglers through a serious and sustained anti-smuggling campaign, which we definitely can, we will be able to generate the revenues that we need. So, hindi na natin kailangan pa ang TRAIN (we don’t need TRAIN anymore),” he said.