Senate panel to continue regional hearings on effects of TRAIN

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By Camille A. Aguinaldo

THE Senate will hold another regional hearing in Mindanao next month to check whether the social mitigating measures under the tax reform law are being implemented by the government as promised, Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares said on Friday.

“This coming July, maybe before the Senate opens, I will have a hearing in Cagayan De Oro (about the effects of the TRAIN law on basic commodities),” Ms. Poe, who heads the Senate committee on public services, said in a radio interview as also issued in a press release.

“Drivers and other beneficiaries coming from different parts of Mindanao will no longer have to go to Manila so we can hear their complaints and find out if the DoTr (Department of Transportation) stayed true with its promise to distribute the subsidies,” she added.

Ms. Llamanzares’s Senate panel earlier held public hearings in Iloilo City and in Legazpi, Albay, on the effects of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law on the transport sector. It was revealed during the hearings that the DoTr has yet to implement its Pantawid Pasada Program for jeepney franchise holders since rules for the program have not been published.

Malacañang last week assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the DoTr would fully implement the social mitigating measures provided under the TRAIN law in July.

The law provides such measures for Filipinos to cope with inflation, such as the unconditional cash transfer, fuel vouchers for jeepney franchise holders, rice discounts and 10% transportation fare discounts for minimum-wage earners, and free skills training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).