NOW that the 2018 National Budget and the tax reform package amusedly named TRAIN, for Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion have been passed by Congress, we should learn to adapt to the changes on the economy brought by these new issuances.
The P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 is so far the highest allocation by any administration, past and present, and is geared most for the ambitious "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program of President Duterte.
Claiming the biggest chunk thereof is, expectedly, the Department of Education, including the Commission on Higher Education, and the state universities and colleges with a whopping allocation of P664.8 billion, giving the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act the chance to be implemented.
As in previous administrations, education is given priority over other departments as the State gives premium to the enlightenment of its citizens and as mandated by the Constitution.
The health sector is also given importance by the General Appropriations
Act or GAA for 2018 in order to fund the Universal Healthcare Program under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) so that all Filipinos can access healthcare services in all government hospitals.
Good news for government employees under the executive department since P2.5 billion was set aside for their health insurance.
Secretary Carlos Dominguez of the Finance Department claims the Train will vastly improve Philippine economy as it aims to fix structural problems and taxation inequities.
He loudly announces that this is the biggest Christmas and New Year's gift that the Duterte administration is giving to the people. Some, of course, disagree. The new tax reform package provides for personal income tax exemptions for the first P250,000 of taxable income and other much-needed tax relief for Filipino taxpayers.
On the downside, increases on tax impositions on petroleum, sugar-based beverages, coal and other commodities will definitely trigger higher prices in basic essential goods hurting mostly the low-income earners.
Well, let's see what happens upon full implementation of these new laws.
There are good benefits resulting therefrom but then there are also down
trends in their implementation. It's better to prepare and used to them.
In due time, we will learn to adapt.