TRAIN suspension to 'disrupt the tempo' of reforms: Pernia

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2018 12:19 PM

MANILA - Stopping certain provisions of the first tranche of tax reforms will "disrupt the tempo" of the broader effort, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Thursday.

Some senators have called for the suspension of higher duties on fuel after inflation reached a new 5-year peak in April and breached the government's target.

"It's like a basketball game, and all of a sudden, you want to stop it. Somebody's going to bring the ball to the basket. Sayang lang (It's a pity)," Pernia said.

"Since it's already there, let's live with it. It's a short term pain for a long term gain," he said.

By the time a law is passed to suspend certain provisions of package one, "people would have gotten used to it," he said.

"Let's just tighten our belts," he said.

Aside from petroleum products, the first package of tax reforms that took effect last January 1 also raised duties on cars and sugar sweetened drinks.

The tax reform for acceleration and inclusion or TRAIN also slashed personal income tax rates, increasing the disposable income of the middle class.

The second tranche, which was submitted to Congress this year, calls for the rationalization of incentives for companies.

Pernia said he was open to increasing subsidies for the poor, including the unconditional cash transfer program, to help them cope with rising consumer prices.