General Admission

TRAIN to trigger good life to all

By Al S. Mendoza


BARELY 16 months after he was catapulted to the highest position of the land, President Duterte has earned his dream tax package.

If that is not a record feat, what is?

The new reform law also known as (aka) TRAIN (Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion) is basically for the benefit of the common tao.

Its passage into law has been in fulfillment of his campaign pledge to make life a bit easy and less-burdened, especially for our marginalized folk.

The TRAIN has three major components broken down into immediate, mid-term and long-term doable platforms.

The immediate impact includes the smashing benefit of a tax-free life for employees earning P250,000 or less a year.

That’s practically a lifetime financial bonanza for our less-fortunate brethren, who toil for hours but with a mere meager income, their take-home pay barely able to put food on the table.

Beginning January 1, 2018, that will come to a happy ending.

Income taxes, out!

Why past administrations—sadly, from Tita Cory to his son, PNoy—did not think about it, had never thought of it, never lifted a finger to address this malignant malady, smacked of incalculable indifference of the highest degree.

It took a mere mayor from Mindanao (Davao City) to dish out the political will long needed to enforce radical reforms, and make more meaningful the life of the downtrodden.

Of course, also to be commended are the House and Senate (special mention goes to Sen. Sonny Angara).

Both chambers responded with dispatch when Du30 egged them on to pass the TRAIN without delay, mentioning it in particular during the President’s Sona (State of The Nation) address last July.

In an aside during the Sona, Mr. Duterte called the attention of Angara, who is chair of the Senate’s finance committee tasked to shepherd the TRAIN bill.

As in every bill passed into law, it has its pros and cons.  The TRAIN is no exception.

As an example, buyers of mostly the low-end vehicles will now pay higher excise taxes—forcing those planning to buy their dream cars in 2018 on hold.

Also to be hurt with this new tax scheme are our car manufacturers, who would surely absorb some sales losses in the coming year.

But like all good businessmen, our carmakers and car dealers can always roll with the punches.

“We will lose some but, at least, we’ve earned a bit more in 2017 as demand increased in anticipation of the TRAIN passage,” said Rene So, a major owner of Toyota dealerships in Dagupan, San Fernando (La Union) and Baguio.

Also to absorb some “losses,” albeit temporarily, are those engaged in the “sin” products like alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, petroleum products and sweetened beverages.

But the long-term benefits of the TRAIN, which is envisioned to amass at least P130 billion in revenues to help finance massive infrastructure projects, will redound to the overall benefit of a nation long considered as the sleeping giant of Asia.

A little sacrifice from our already very rich brothers will, in due time, bear fruit for the good of all.

As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”


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