Leftist solons slam passage of TRABAHO bill on 2nd reading

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2018 08:15 PM

MANILA - The Makabayan bloc of lawmakers criticized on Wednesday the passage on second reading of the second tranche of tax reforms, which aims to reduce corporate income tax rates and revisit incentives. 

The Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities or TRABAHO bill was passed through voice vote on Tuesday night. 

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said the bill will only allow corporations to gain more profit and will result in job losses. 

"'TRABAHO' is actually a misnomer because even the bill admits the job losses that it will cause with at least P26 billion structural adjustment fund earmarked to compensate workers that will be displaced by the rationalization of fiscal incentives," Tinio said. 

Under the TRABAHO bill, the 30-percent corporate income tax rate will be reduced to 28 percent in 2021, 26 percent in 2023, 24 percent in 2025, 22 percent in 2027 and 20 percent in 2029, the House of Representatives' public information office said. 

The first tranche of reforms or TRAIN 1, which took effect last Jan. 1, reduced personal income tax rates and raised duties on fuel, cars and sugar-sweetened drinks.
 
ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said TRAIN 1 was passed to fund the losses that will be brought by the second tranche of reforms. 

"In short, this administration railroaded a regressive tax reform law to collect from the poor in order to give more tax incentives to the rich," she said. 

Tinio also accused House leaders of passing TRABAHO on second reading without giving critics a chance to review additions that expanded the incentives for corporations. 

"We strongly warn against another railroading approval on 3rd reading of this bill and should instead listen to the public clamor and repeal the TRAIN Law," he said. 

TRABAHO bill aims to "create more jobs and opportunities for our country through encouragement of the private sector to invest and grow their businesses here," its author Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua earlier said. 

Revenue from the measure will help fund school and housing vouchers and universal health care, a House of Representatives statement said.