Casilao calls out DTI for understating TRAIN’s impact on consumer prices

January 5, 2018 - 8:31 PM
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Shopping food stalls
People line up at various food stalls in Pasay City. File Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero, InterAksyon.

MANILA, Philippines — Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao on Friday criticized the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for understating the impact of the new tax reform law on the prices of basic goods and services.

Casilao said DTI was “out of touch with reality” and was fooling the public with its pronouncements.

Earlier, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the public should not be worried because “there should be a minimal if at all no change on suggested retail prices.”

“DTI is clearly peddling fake news on the real effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) to the public,” Casilao said.

The TRAIN law reduces the rate of income tax being shouldered by individual tax payers, but increased excise tax on fuel products, new vehicles and sweetened beverages.

Casilao refuted the DTI’s claim that the increase would only be 4 percent on the price of basic goods because manufacturers spend less than 10 percent of their production cost to transport their goods.

“Manufacturers already refute this as they claimed there were various processes before the goods land on grocery stores,” he said.

“It’s automatic. When petrol prices jump, the prices of downstream production that depend on the fuel prices likewise move upward. It’s puzzling how DTI can be treating this matter so simplistically, or is it just trying to soften the blow on the public?” he said.

This early, Casilao said, two transport groups from the National Capital Region and Central Luzon have expressed plans to file petitions for a P12 and P14 minimum fare hike, respectively.

“The price hikes are real and it is coming down hard mostly on minimum wage earners whose daily take-home salary hardly provide adequately for the basic needs of the family,” he said.

“That is why spreading disinformation on the actual impact of the new tax law is basically an attempt of the DTI to sweep under the rug its negative impact especially on the poor sectors,” he added.