Palawenos weigh in on new tax measure

The tax reform law reduces personal income tax

The government’s newly approved Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) has faced mixed reactions from various sectors in the province, with many raising concerns about the negative impact of rising fuel costs.

The tax reform law reduces personal income tax but imposes a higher tax on fuel, cars, tobacco and sugary beverages to bankroll the government’s infrastructure and development projects.

The first tranche lowers personal income taxes while raising duties on fuel, cars, coal and sugar-sweetened drinks. Revenues will help fund the national government’s P8-trillion infrastructure program.

Amy Revillas, 33, a livestock raiser in an upland barangays in Roxas town said that the impending oil increase will affect almost all ordinary people who often travel, thus there is a possibility that the prices of the agricultural products will also be affected because there is a chain reaction whenever there is an oil price increase.

“Pag nagtaas kasi ang fuel, kasama na kasi yan lahat. Pati na ang pamasahe at ang mga presyo ng bilihin, hindi mo masabi na kung fuel ay fuel lang”.

A barangay employee in one of the barangays in Roxas town, Yolanda Caabay, 45 who said that the oil price will affect ordinary commuters like them as fares for motorcycle-for-hire will surely increase.

She said that motorcycle-for-hires in the informal economy are not regulated by any government agencies and that these drivers and will make random increases in their rates.

“Kung ang nagdala ng produkto sa bayan ay siningil ng mahal na pamasahe, ibebenta ba nya ng mura ang kanyang produkto, syempre magmamahal din yan, lahat na yan, pati mga agricultural products,” Renato Caabay, a farmer, said.

Randy Hugo, owner of SBE Transport, said that the excise tax on oil products will strongly affect the transport sector.

An excise tax will be charged on diesel at P2.50 per liter starting this year. This will be raised to P4.50 the following year and P6 in 2020. LPG will be taxed P1 per kilo in 2018 and will be increased to P2 pesos the following year and to P3 pesos in 2020.

The excise tax on regular and unleaded premium gasoline will be raised to P7 in 2018 from the current P4.35. This will be increased to P9 in 2019 and P10 in 2020.

Armando Palatino, a carpenter and a furniture-maker in Barangay Libis said the intention of the law is good since a substantial number of low-income taxpayers will be exempted from paying income taxes every but the looming oil price increase and as well as of other commodities will have a blow on ordinary people.

“Ordinaryong tao pa rin ang mahihirapan kasi yung mga malalaking kompanya pinapasa naman nila sa mga tao ang buhis e”.

“Itong mga tricycle operators apektado talaga sila na mga bumibili ng fuels, pati yung mga mahilig sa softdrinks, at yung mga gumagamit ng LPG, mabuti nalang e uling at kahoy lang tayo sa pagluluto”, Palatino added.

So, however, welcome the new tax measure, pointing out its benefits to low-income earners.

“Mas maganda kasi mas malaki na ang mai-uuwi sa pamilya mo,” Kim Carangue, as customer service representative, said.

Percival Narborita of DTI –Palawan thinks the negative impact will be minimal on ordinary Filipinos.

“Although there will be some business establishments that will be affected by the said law, due to an increase of products and commodities, pero sa ngayon ay hindi pa naman ramdam,” he said.

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