Palace welcomes plan to derail tax reform bill

MALACAÑANG welcomed on Saturday, December 16, the plan of militant solons to urge the Supreme Court (SC) to derail the "railroaded" tax reform bill, known as Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train), which was ratified by Congress.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the executive department respects the plan of Representatives Antonio Tinio (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) and Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna) to challenge the approval of Train before the high court.

"You know, what's important is it was approved by the Senate and the [House of Representatives]. And then if [they want] to question it, then let the magistrate decide for themselves. [Their] questions are really valid," he told government-owned dzRB.

Despite objections from several lawmakers and senators, Congress ratified Train on Wednesday, December 13.

The proposed tax reform package seeks to exempt P250,000 annual taxable income and raise the tax exemption cap of 13th month pay and other bonuses to P90,000.

In the Senate, 16 senators voted to adopt the proposed tax reform measure that seeks to bring tax relief to millions of individual income earners. Only four senators voted against it.

Ratification in the House of Representatives prevailed despite objection for alleged lack of quorum.

Tinio opposed the Congress' ratification of the proposed tax reform package, saying that it was "invalid" as he cited the failure to muster a quorum and present an actual vote.

Zarate, Tinio's Makabayan bloc colleague, said in a separate statement that they are now "studying all out options, including going to the Supreme Court, to question and stop this railroaded anti-people tax reform package."

Andanar said the Duterte administration acknowledged the two lawmakers' right to raise to proper forum their opposition to Train.

"Well, it is up to Congressman Carlos Zarate [and Congressman Antonio Tinio] as to where [they] want to bring up the issue. That's [their] right. As [congressmen, they represent] the civil sector of our society," he said. (SunStar Philippines)

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