THE Makabayan bloc, a known administration ally, is not supporting the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package (CTRP), which the House of Representatives is set to approve before Congress adjourns sine die.
Led by Bayan Muna lawmakers, at least seven solons representing the different progressive part-lists will vote against House Bill 4774.
While the tax package intends to lower the personal income tax, it increases some taxes like excise for the fuel and petroleum products and likewise removes some exemptions from Value Added Tax.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called on his fellow lawmakers to carefully scrutinize and eventually reject the Department of Finance backed tax reform package when it is discussed in the plenary.
Following a caucus, the House leaders scheduled the plenary debates next week for second reading passage. The third and final reading will be on or before May 31.
Zarate said the bill is anti-poor because it increases excise tax on fuel and gasoline products whose consumers are mostly poor.
“This bill will definitely hit the poor hard because it would mean higher prices of basic goods and services,” Zarate said.
Once the bill is enacted into law, diesel which is P31 now would be P34 next year, P36 in 2019 and P37 in 2020.Gasoline which is P45 now would be P52 next year.
Meanwhile, LPG which is P541 now would be P574 next year, then P596 and P607 after.
The Makabayan bloc also said that the basic money remittance charge, which is P6, would now be P7.25 for P100 and increase depending on the amount sent.
“These are just a few of the strategic products that would increase and would cause a domino effect on other products and services,” Zarate said.
“As members of Congress, we should listen to the sentiments and clamor of our people by stopping this anti-people tax reform bill,” he added.