Militant group blames Duterte’s TRAIN law on inflation

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A militant urban poor group on Friday blamed President Rodrigo Duterte’s TRAIN and other similar laws, including anti-poor policies for the eight-month long high inflation rate.

They also blamed the earlier implemented ASIN law on inflation.

ASIN Law, signed as Republic Act No. 8172 in 1995 by then President Fidel V. Ramos, aims to promote the use of iodized salt to address the lack of micronutrients in the country. It also requires all salt manufacturers to iodize the salts they produce and distribute.

“TRAIN, ASIN Law and Duterte’s anti-poor policies were mainly to blame in the 8-month high inflation rate and not the Taal volcano eruption,” said militant urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) Metro Manila, in reaction to the recent inflation report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Kadamay Metro Manila said basic commodities and personal care products spiked prices since the start of 2020 as the third tranche of the TRAIN Law has been implemented.

“Train Law and ASIN Law contribute additional burden to the urban poor and to working class because of legalization of too much tax for the petroleum products and commodities to accumulate funds for Duterte’s modernization project,” said Josephine Mediario, Kadamay Metro Manila spokesperson.

“Urban poor and workers can only buy limited needs of their family needs because of their low salary. Minimum wage under Duterte is far comparable to the ideal family living wage in the country,” she added.

Kadamay Metro Manila said that while foreign multinational companies and Duterte’s factions of oligarchs gained higher profit and tax incentives, majority of the Filipinos remain suffered and robbed.

Kadamay Metro Manila condemned the “anti-poor and parasitic government policies” which make the life urban poor more miserable.

“The Duterte admin victimizes the Filipinos and violates the rights of having decent and humane lives. Instead of taxing billionaires and companies who unjustly use our resources and exploit our workers, Duterte requires the poor to pay higher taxes,” said Mediario.

She said that the inflation and economic crisis were brought by Duterte’s incapability to implement pro-people and inclusive development schemes in the country.

Mediario said, “While the government policies and laws are inclined to serve the interest of the upper class in the society, Filipino people cannot fully attain their legitimate and democratic rights. The rotten system which legally develops unfair policies such as TRAIN and ASIN Law hinder justice while persistent on exploitation and deprivation.”

“Duterte should be mainly to be blamed for his incompetent and criminal acts against the Filipino people,” said Mediario.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, officially cited as Republic Act No. 10963, is the initial package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 19, 2017.

The TRAIN Act is the first of four packages of tax reforms to the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, or the Tax Code, as amended.

This package introduced changes in personal income tax (PIT), estate tax, donor’s tax, value added tax (VAT), documentary stamp tax (DST) and the excise tax of tobacco products, petroleum products, mineral products, automobiles, sweetened beverages, and cosmetic procedures./Stacy Ang

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