Makabayan bloc set to challenge TRAIN’s constitutionality before SC

Image from BAYAN MUNA Partylist's Facebook account
  • Militant lawmakers will ask the SC to strike down tax reform package as unconstitutional
  • Bayan Muna solon said House illegally passed TRAIN due to a lack of quorum
  • He also said new law is misleading, will hurt millions of Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines – Leftist lawmakers are set to challenge the government’s tax reform law before the Supreme Court on the grounds of being constitutionally infirm and harmful to the public.

Speaking on behalf of the Makabayan bloc, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said they will file their case questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act 10963 or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) just as soon as their seven-man legal team finishes their preparations.

According to Zarate, the law is void from the start as it was supposedly approved by the House of Representatives without a quorum.

“We will challenge the legality of this runaway TRAIN as it was railroaded in the House without the required quorum and distribution of approved copies to the members,” the Philippine Star quoted him as saying.

Zarate also said the law also stands to adversely affects millions of minimum-wage earners who already don’t pay taxes in the first place because of the imposition of excise taxes on basic commodities.

“While Filipino families certainly deserve income tax cuts to cope with rising costs of living, it is misleading to claim that 6.8 million Filipinos will benefit from TRAIN as this figure includes millions of minimum wage earners already exempted by law,” he said.

“A majority of our poor people will suffer more and would be mired further into poverty with the expected spike in the prices of major basic commodities and services beginning this month,” he added. “These would have a severe domino effect on the prices of other products and services, which is further aggravated by the VAT increases on these products themselves.”