Palace says senators afraid of backlash in 2019 polls why hesitant on passing TRAIN 2
Some senators were hesitant to support the passage of the second package of the tax reform program, a priority measure of the Duterte administration, because of the possible backlash on their candidacies in next year's elections, Malacanang said on Monday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that 2019 is an election year.
"So, those who will be running in the election, especially the re-electionists, are afraid on passing another tax bill," he said.
But Roque reiterated that the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion 2 (TRAIN 2) was different from the TRAIN 1, which was partly being blamed for the high inflation rates in the past months.
He said under the Package 2, what would be reduced is the corporate tax.
"So this TRAIN 2 is different. So there's nothing to be worried about, we'll just explain to the people that this will not have any negative effect to the Filipino people," Roque said.
Some senators, such as Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joseph Victor Ejercito, have warned the passage of the TRAIN 2 could be derailed in the Senate if it would cause hardships among the Filipinos.
Zubiri had said no one from the Senate would want to sponsor the bill.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his recent third State of the Nation Address, urged Congress to immediately pass the four remaining tax reform packages, including TRAIN 2, within the year.
The government has been banking of the tax reform measures to support its at least P8-trillion infrastructure projects until 2022. Celerina Monte/DMS