Pampanga transport groups condemn Train Law

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - Major transport groups in Pampanga condemned on Thursday the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law along with its "negative impact" on the prices of basic goods and services in the market.

Makabayang Organisasyon ng mga Tsuper at Opereytors, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston)-Central Luzon, No To Jeepney Phase Out Coalition and Samahan ng mga Tsuper na Tutol sa Phaseout (STOP)-Pampanga simultaneously expressed their strong disapproval on the new tax reform law which will allegedly “only add up to the burden of simple workers and citizens.”

STOP-Pampanga Spokesperson Dan Yumul said that the Train Law will be the root cause of the looming huge price increase on gasoline and petroleum products which are expected to go as high as P2.50 to P7 this year with the implementation of oil excise tax.

Under the Train Law, regular and premium unleaded gas will go up by P7 per liter this year, P9 in 2019, and P10.00 in 2021, while diesel and fuel for public transportation will increase by P2.50 per liter in 2018, P4.50 the following year, and P6 in 2020. For liquefied petroleum gas, prices will rise by one peso annually from 2018 to 2020.

With such increase, Yumul said that their organization will be forced to petition for a hike in jeepney minimum fare from the current P8 base fare to cover for the additional expenses.

He stressed that commuters can expect a P14 minimum jeepney fare as the group mulls filing an additional P4 fare increase on top of the pending P2.00 petition filed by transport group before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board before the TRAIN law took effect.

“Kung ipapatupad ng mga oil companies ng minsanan and dagdag na P6 per liter, mas malaki ang fare increase namin. As of now, ang plano namin is P4 kung ganoon nga ang mangyari tapos iyong P2 na pending petition nga namin,” he said.

Meanwhile, Piston-Central Luzon Spokesperson Allan Bonifacio described the new tax reform package as “anti-poor and pro-oilgrachy” as it will not only hurt drivers and commuters, but also consumers with its domino effect on basic commodities and services.

He stressed that the move of the Makabayan Bloc in Congress to file a petition before the Supreme Court to nullify and declare the Train Tax Law as unconstitutional must be pushed through.

“Ang huge oil excise tax na ito na isang napakabigat na dagdag pahirap sa mga drivers and commuters as well as consumers dahil the Train Tax Law will also hike the prices of basic commodities and services like electricity, water,” he stressed.

But while the Train Law is still in effect, Bonifacio proposed for an across the board discount on fuel products for public utility vehicles (PUVs), especially jeepneys, instead of a fare hike to spare commuters from the additional expenses.

“Hindi kami magdedemand ng increase ng fare. Instead, we are demanding President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Energy and Department of Transportation na pagkalooban ang PUVs lalo na sa jeepney ng fuel discount of P6 per liter across the board nationwide. This is to help the drivers and at the same time to spare our commuters sa dagdag pasanin na transport fare hike dulot ng pagtaas sa oil prices,” he said.
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