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Malacañang to conduct information campaign on TRAIN Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

President Duterte’s ratings, expected

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte wants the public to understand everything about the provisions and the purpose of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

This, following a series of increases in prices of goods and services in the country.

In line with this, the government will conduct an intensified information dissemination about TRAIN.

“I also know that PCOO is working double time to embark on a dissemination campaign on the salient features of TRAIN. Likewise, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who will take advantage of price hikes invoking TRAIN as a legal basis,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque also assured that government agencies like the DTI will not allow businessmen to exploit the system for their own gains.

“Ang excise tax naman po pinapataw hindi dun sa old inventory kundi sa mga bagong inventory. So walang dahilan para tumaas ang presyo on day 1 of the effectivity of the law (The excise tax is imposed not on the old inventory but on the new inventory. Therefore, there is no reason to increase prices on day one of the effectivity of the law),” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the government will improve the cash transfer fund in order to ease the burden of poor families.

“We already have a list of beneficiaries on the conditional cash transfer. It would be the same population that will benefit from this cash mitigation which is a provision of the Tax Reform Act or TRAIN,” the spokesperson added. —  Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Diokno: Suspension of 2nd tranche of fuel excise tax may affect gov’t fuel subsidies

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018


Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

The government assured that it will continue its program that offers assistance to jeepney drivers who are bearing the brunt of surging oil prices.

According to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Pantawid Pasada Program, which seeks to provide a fuel voucher worth P5,000 for each jeepney driver, has been allocated with P977 million in the 2018 national budget.

In 2019, they proposed around P3.2 billion appropriation for the program in hopes of hiking the fuel subsidy to P20,000 for each driver.

But following the announcement on the early suspension of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes next year, Diokno warned that the projected budget may be slashed.

“As I’ve said, the Pantawid Pasada for next year is premised on the two-peso adjustment. Now, if the two-peso adjustment is suspended then the Pantawid Pasada benefits will be based on 2018 but that will continue,” said Diokno.

Diokno has earlier assured that the government’s assistance to poor Filipinos, such as conditional and unconditional cash transfer in 2019, will not be affected if the suspension of the fuel excise tax will push through.

With this assurance, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is confident that the budget for the free tertiary education policy next year will be protected.

“We will be in close coordination with DOF (Department of Finance) so that provision for education will somehow not be affected by any deduction,” said CHED Executive Director Atty. Cinderella Filipina Jarp. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Roque pursues Senate dream to revive Miriam Santiago’s legacy

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque speaks after filing his certificate of candidacy on October 17, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque surprised the public as he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator on Wednesday (October 17), the last day of filing.

His decision came days after he announced that he was considering the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte for him to run for a lower position which he eventually confirmed as a nominee of an environmental party-list group Luntiang Pilinas.

He said his main reason for finally aiming for a seat in  the Senate  is to relive and continue the legacy of one of the most brilliant senators in history, the Iron Lady of Asia, late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

“Ang aking babala ay ‘yung mga korap, mga bobo, mga tiwali sa gobyerno ay mumultuhin na po ni Miriam Defensor-Santiago sa pagkatao ni Harry Roque,” he announced.

Roque said he was grateful that the ruling party Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) offered him to run under its banner though he preferred to run under People’s Reform Party (PRP), the political party of the late Senator Santiago.

Roque claimed it was Mayor Sarah who arranged with PRP for his certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA), a group which he implied is not a breeding ground for “traditional politicians.”

“Ang ating puso ay nasa Senado. Ang importante po talaga ay maisulong ang liderato na binigyang buhay ni dating Senador Miriam Defensor Santiago,” he said.

“Kinakailangan na mamili ang mamamayang Pilipino hindi lang basehan ng kasikatan, kinakailangang suriin ang kwalipikasyon ng mga kandidato…lalong lalo na sa senado. Ang Senado ay deliberative body. Kinakailangan po diyan ay may alam sa batas…bagong anyo ng mga maninilbihan sa senado,” he added.

When asked how his relationship with the President is doing, Roque said: “It’s a very good relationship.”

He stressed that he holds no grudges, “none at all,” against the President even with the sudden replacement of him as the Presidential Spokesperson by Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

“Let me make it clear. I did not feel offended at any time during my stint as the presidential spokesperson even if there was at least one instance when I thought I could perhaps do my job better,” he noted. — Marje Pelayo



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Diokno: Suspension of next fuel tax hike won’t affect gov’t social services program

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: Benjamin Diokno

MANILA, Philippines —The economic managers of the Duterte administration have announced the early suspension of the second tranche of excise taxes on fuel under the tax reform for acceleration and inclusion or TRAIN Law.

This is to help bring down prices of oil and food and proactively anchor inflation expectations.

“It’s not for political reasons. It’s for good reasons; it’s according to the law,” Department of Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III said.

If this move pushes through in 2019, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno estimates that the government will lose around 40 to 41 billion pesos in revenue.

“Tinatawag naming may demonstration effect na yun, pag-announce mo pa lang. Hindi namin pababayan na tumaas pa (We call it demonstration effect just by making an announcement. We won’t let it increase further),” he said.

However, Secretary Diokno assured that the social services of the government, such as the unconditional and conditional cash transfer programs, will not be affected by the possible suspension of the next fuel excise tax.

Even the infrastructure program of the government, which is the primary beneficiary of the fuel excise tax hike, will not be affected.

“Hindi maaapektuhan kasi priority rin yun,” Diokno said.

Instead, the government will have budget cuts on some of its operating expenses for next year to offset the revenue loss.

“Yung mga purchase of vehicles and then yung filling up of positions, yun yung mga medyo nirereview naming (the purchase of vehicles and then the filling up of positions, those are the expenses that we review on),” he added.

For now, the economic managers have formed a task force to review the line items of the proposed 2019 national budget. — Rosalie Coz

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