Bam Aquino asks public to ‘speak up’ vs imminent price hikes in basic goods, services
Senator Bam Aquino is encouraging the public to speak up against the looming increase in the prices of basic goods and other services once Congress passes the proposed tax reform measure.
Aquino, vice chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, warned that the measure would lead to higher prices of basic goods and other services if the government insists on passing it.
“Sana mas maging aktibo ang taumbayan, na kung ayaw nating tumaas ang bilihin, dapat magsalita tayo. Dumulog tayo sa ating mga congressman at senador kasi masakit sa pamilyang Pilipino kapag nagkaroon ng pagtaas sa presyo ng bilihin,” he said in a statement on Wednesday based on a radio interview.
Without the necessary number to block its passage, the senator said the minority bloc in the Senate could only work to ease the measure’s burden on the public.
“Kaya sinisikap naming siyasatin ang lahat ng probisyon. Ang binabantayan namin sa minority ay masiguro ang mga benepisyo sa tao, tulad ng pagkakaroon ng bagong bracketing sa personal income tax,” said Aquino, who is part of the minority group.
“Para naman sa mahihirap nating kababayan, hindi dapat ipataw ang mga bagong tax na magpapataas ng presyo ng bilihin, tulad ng excise tax on fuel, hangga’t hindi nasisigurado ng gobyerno na magiging maayos ang unconditional cash transfer program.”
“Kailangan matiyak na mayroong makukuhang tulong kada buwan mula sa pamahalaan ang mga mahihirap na pamilya upang mabalanse ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin,” he added.
Aquino assured that minority senators are working to ensure that the public would be able to bear the brunt of the proposed tax reform measure, especially with the expected rise in prices of basic commodities and other services.
The senator has already filed Senate Bill No. 697 that seeks to revise the current income tax bracket set by the National Internal Revenue Code, which was passed in 1997.
His bill, he said, seeks to amend Section 24 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, by adjusting the levels of net taxable income and simplifying the nominal tax rates for the purposes of computing the individual income tax.
If enacted into law, Aquino said the measure would effectively lower the taxes on the 22-million Filipino working class. /kga
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