During the recent Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogue at the SMX Convention Center at SM City Bacolod, Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Teresa Habitan called it “unfair” to blame price fluctuations on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“Maybe because we are talking a lot about price increases due to TRAIN, it becomes an influence on the prices,” she said. “Even if we have a P6 increase in fuel rates, it is still far from the P14 increase we experienced in 2017.”
“Our market can adapt to it and we can also adjust,” the cabinet official added.
Habitan said studies and trends suggest excise taxes have a minimal impact on commodity prices.
“The benefit we get from TRAIN is where our government spends the revenues we generate,” she explained. “We need to think beyond nominal benefits.”
She noted, the national government has earmarked around P24 billion to provide as entitlement to 10 million low-income households to offset price increases./WDJ