The start of the New Year also marked the start of a new law – the RA No. 10963 otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
They say, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.” This adage is somehow similar to the implementation of the TRAIN Law. The law aims to fund infrastructures, education, social protection, health, housing, and at the same time to make tax compliance simpler by increasing the citizens’ certain passive incomes, documents, and excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, cigarettes, automobiles, minerals, and petroleum products. Despite the tax-increase in certain products/services, the TRAIN Law however, decreases the tax on personal income, estate, and donation. Under the TRAIN Law, if you are a worker with an annual salary of P250,000, you will be exempted from tax. Tax exemption also includes the employees’ mandated 13th month bonus as well as other bonuses. However, tax exemptions are removed on Lotto winnings and cosmetic surgeries that are for aesthetic purposes only.
Given that the taxes on certain products/services are increased, many citizens complain about some of the issuances of the law. For some, the TRAIN Law is ‘anti-poor’ as the increase in taxes greatly affects the people’s everyday living in a negative way. With this issue, the government promised to help poor families by giving them P200 monthly to alleviate their expenses. Still, many argue that P200 is not enough to help pay for their transportation, food, and other necessities for a month.
In the face of price increase and resources’ scarcity, doubts about the efficiency of TRAIN Law can be heard as we will all see how our taxes increase every year until we achieve the law’s goal of making the 70% of it to building of infrastructures and the other 30% to health, security, and housing. Are we all willing to ‘suffer’ for now in order to gain more tomorrow or are we going to settle for what we have practiced for so long? Are we helping our country to bolt or are we putting it to a halt? The choice will always be ours.
The government usually puts my weight on what is good for its people. This time, it seems that the too much weight adds up to the burden of the Filipinos who have been in constant battle with economic measures to attain sustainable life for many years.
Laws are made to make life easy to deal with. But when economic cushions are forgotten and when the government just looks on to economic gains where the poor will be the ones to sacrifice the most, then problems arise.
It may stop the poor from consuming what is due them to live self -sufficiently. But after few years, they will experience the gains.
Indeed, the poor are are the forefront of everything. They are heroes. If these heroes bolt in, they will accelerate the train without limits.