Senator Angara suggests excise tax income be used for PUV improvement

Mass transportation to also benefit
by Drei Laurel | Aug 2, 2017

Would you be in favor of higher automotive taxes if the revenue went toward improving mass transportation?

Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the ways and means committee, is suggesting that the "incremental revenues" from the proposed increase in automotive excise taxes can be used to resolve issues plaguing the country's public transportation system.

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According to the Senator, the revenue can be used to fix the MRT and LRT, as well as used to subsidize the jeepney modernization program. Angara has asked the Department of Finance (DOF) to come up with a list of transportation projects which stand to gain from the proposed tax increase.

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"We should fast-track our projects on improving and modernizing our public transport system so that Filipinos will have a viable transportation option," he said.

Angara's advice came after he questioned the tax proposal's "very general" wording. "You really have to explain to the people why you're taking money from their pockets. Let's make the tax reform bill complete in itself—from finding ways and means for funding to the spending of the money," he said.

As of now, House Bill 5636 says that revenue shall be allocated toward various infrastructure, health, education, and housing projects. It specifies that "the infrastructure allocation shall be prioritized to address congestion through mass transport and new road network."

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"We're worried dahil kapag ipinasa namin ang tax reform bill, maaari pa ring maiba o mawala yung mga ipinangako na programa o proyekto na dapat ay popondohan ng makokolekta mula sa dagdag buwis. Yun ang nakakatakot. Why don't we secure the social contract with the people and make the language of the earmarking under this bill stronger," the senator said

Do you agree with Senator Angara? Will you be willing to give up buying a private vehicle if it means taking public transportation will no longer be a pain in the ass? Let us know in the comments. Better yet, let our senators know.


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