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Editor mode: Lagman lists tax reform bill’s mistakes

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Had Albay 2nd Rep. Edcel Lagman been allowed to edit the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) measure, it would have been filled with red ink.

The opposition politiko listed several key mistakes and omissions in the measure, which is also known as the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform bill.

One of the biggest pitfalls of the bill is its absence of “clear and enabling provisions mitigating the adverse impact of new revenues on the vulnerable sectors,” Lagman said.

“While the low income earners will not benefit from the reduction of the income tax rate because they are already tax-exempt, they will suffer the cascading effects of the increased excise tax on petroleum products as the prices of basic goods and services will become more expensive, including transport and mass housing,” he added.

The House leadership has promised cash vouchers for the poor as a sort of counter to the fuel price uptick, but Lagman hinted that the TRAIN bill fails to properly define this.

“The projected cash vouchers for the poor must be well-defined and qualified to benefit the truly marginalized. The provision on cash vouchers must be specifically provided in the bill and must be implemented through the annual General Appropriations Acts (GAAs).”

Finally, the former House Minority Leader also said that there must be “a clear provision that the repeal of VAT exemptions does not include benefits for senior citizens and persons with disability.”