THE Senate should not allow itself to be a rubber stamp of the executive branch and pass the tax re-form bill the way President Rodrigo Duterte wants it because it may lead to price increases of basic commodities, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Sunday.
Drilon said that the Senate could not just accept the President’s proposed tax reform bill hook, line and sinker because it was their duty to thoroughly study the proposal and make sure that it would be acceptable to all parties.
He particularly cited in Malacanang’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) the proposal to impose higher excise tax on gasoline and impose excise tax on diesel.
Under the proposal the executive branch wants to impose an additional P6.00 to the P4.30 per liter excise tax on gasoline, and P6.00 per liter on diesel.
The President in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 called on the Senate to pass the tax reform bill as is because part of the revenues that would be generated would be used for the admin-istration’s infrastructure programs.
He even warned Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, to “watch out in the elections”.
The House of Representatives on its approved House Bill 5636 retained Malacanang’s excise tax pro-posal on oil products but spread out the amount over three years — P3.00 on the first, P2.00 on the second and P1.00 on the third installment.
“Ang dahilan ng pagtaas ng mga pangunahing bilihin ay dahil po sa pagtaas ng buwis sa fuel products, (The reason behind the increase in the prices of basic commodities is because of the higher taxes on fuel products,” Drilon said in a radio interview.