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Salceda explains how TRAIN will protect poor from new fuel excise tax

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Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda played down the negative effects of the proposed new excise taxes on fuel under the government’s comprehensive tax reform measure or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon (May 17) with the House leadership, Salceda said the excise tax–which will result to a P6 per liter price hike on diesel within a three-year period–will be cushioned by an “unconditional” cash transfer program for the poor.

The politiko, who is a co-author of TRAIN, said the cash transfer will be worth P600 per month.

“So ‘yong issue po doon sa P3-P2-P1 (equals P6) is only with respect to its impact doon po sa mga namamasahe at namamasada na meron naman pong paraan para po na ‘di lang maibsan kundi sosobrahan kung ano man po ‘yong impact ng oil sa kanila. Kung sa P600 per month, eh times 10 po ng impact ng oil ang actually [mababalik] sa kanila sa pangaraw-araw,” Salceda said.

Diesel is the fuel used by passenger jeepneys, which is said to be the mode of transportation of the poor.

Salceda said the government already knows who the rightful beneficiaries are.

“Ngayon kasi mayroong conditional cash transfer tayo. Nakadalawang listahan na tayo. ‘Yong unang listahan ng 15.4 million families based on ownership po of their houses. So kilala na natin ‘yong mahirap at kung ano ‘yong kanilang pangaraw-araw. So ‘yong direct transfer is walang condition,” noted the former three-term Albay governor.

The subsidy to be collected from fuel taxes will reach up to P48 billion, he said.

The House of Representatives (HOR) intends to pass the measure next week.