What are the effects of TRAIN and SSB to every Cebuanos, Filipinos in general?

by - 7:02 PM

If you are my avid reader and social media follower, you would know that I’m not into Political blogging. I don’t do politics articles or even politicians’ feature in this Lifestyle and Travel Blog of mine. But there’s one issue that caught my attention, this TRAIN and SSB Tax proposals.

Editorial Cartoon by Mark Monta (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion)
Credits to:
Train by : clipart-library.com
Pushing pinoy : filipinostarnews.net
Poor Pinoy : Barangayrp.wordpress.com
Sari-sari store: newtonfd.com

So aside from the undying issue of killings under President Duterte administration, TRAIN and SSB are important topics that need to be discussed in the Congress or in the Senate. I won’t be talking as professional here, but using my research and other online skills, let me help you define and together understand this tax reform matters. First, let’s talk about terms.

  • TRAIN – It stands for Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion
  • SSB – Means Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax
  • House Bill 292 – authored by Representatives Horacio Suansing and Estrellita Suansing. It imposes an excise tax on Sweetened Beverage products. HB 292 is part of TRAIN (House Bill 5636)
  • House Bill 5636 – It will amend our Comprehensive Tax Reform Package so the government can collect more taxes.

What will happen if TRAIN bill is approved?

1. Oil excise tax rates will be adjusted gradually in the succeeding years. Diesel and essentials namely processed gas, kerosene, diesel fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas, asphalt, and bunker fuel oil will increase from P0 in 2017, to P1.75 to P3 in 2018, P3.75 to P5 in 2019 and P6 in 2020. Gas and non-essentials such as lubricating oils and greases, naphtha, regular gasoline, premium gasoline, and aviation turbo jet fuel will increase from P4.35 in 2017, to P6 to P7 in 2018, P8 to P9 in 2019 and P10 in 2020. ( Src philstar )

  • Just imagine how much the fare would be if this is approved. For those Call Center Agents or Night Shifters who rely on motorcycle-taxi or Habal-Habal in coming to their respective offices, how much would they suffer in their daily lives? Not to mention other public transportations such as Jeepneys, V-Hire and Taxis. Can you imagin the fare would be?
2. A P-10-excise tax for the first year and four percent every year thereafter on all sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, coffee, juice drinks and energy drinks. The SSB tax proposes a P10 per liter tax on beverages using high-fructose corn syrup, P5 per liter on drinks using sugar, and P3 per liter on drinks using non-caloric sweeteners. How much would a poor Filipino cost for a sachet of 3-in-1 coffee? They are using this daily!

So if this will push thru, what will happen to our beloved Sari-Sari Store and micro-enterprise business in which majority of their products come from those sweetened goods? Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) chairman Jesus Lim Arranza said the implementation of the tax would cause a 40 to 60 percent sales slump in sari-sari stores and other micro-enterprises, triggered by a 25 to 50 percent price increase of basic commodities. (Src Philstar)

3. Another tax-payers group is identified as "medium taxpayers" and maybe converted to Medium
Taxpayers division following the Large Taxpayers Division should the TRAIN is approved. Meaning,
those belong to this category are companies that pay more than 30 percent of a revenue region's
collection goal. Don't you know that BIR-13 revenue regions, Cebu and Bohol, is recently identified as top 500 establishments classified as “medium taxpayers,” which includes mostly construction, real estate,
and manufacturing companies in the two provinces. (Src SunStar)

What’s the advantage? 

Filipinos will be forced to observe healthy living without any sugar from any foods or beverages in our daily meals. Meaning, fewer figures on issues of Diabetes and Obesity. data from the 2017 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that the problem is undernutrition, not obesity which means the Government should focus on this matter rather than resolving a problem with another possible problem.

The Senate session in regards to this matter will resume in November, I’m hoping they will see how the poor Filipinos are being affected by this latest tax move. I'm hoping that this TRAIN won't arrive on its expected station.

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