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President Rodrigo R. Duterte once promised a fairer, simpler and more efficient tax reform
program which has been stagnant over the last decades. This dream turned out to be a reality as he signed
into law Republic Act No. 10963 or better known as the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion)
bill. It aims to accumulate more revenues for infrastructures which is one of the economic agendas of the
This law exempts personal income tax of those who are earning 250,000 below whether the tax
payer is single, married, head of the family, with or without dependents. Well, this is a good news for the
employees whose monthly salary is approximately 22,000 and below as it will provide Filipino employees
a higher disposable incomes which in turn could boost domestic consumption. However, to make up for
the loss of revenue due to reduced income tax, this law imposes higher tax on fuel, cars, tobacco, sugary
beverages and cosmetic surgery. The effects of the tax reform law was already felt by Filipinos since
January 1.
In my opinion, the buoyancy toward the TRAIN Law wasn’t felt by majority of consumers that
much due to expected higher price of commodities. Everyone was affected by the excise tax or taxes on
products that use sugar, salt, oil and coal. This paves the way the way for these basic commodities to
inflate. In that sense, millions of informal Filipino workers (those who are minimum wage earners) need
to feel the burden of the increase in excise tax. However, this is just one side of the story. Implementing
the TRAIN Law would mean a decrease(hopefully) tobacco consumption which is a major concern of the
Filipinos. It would also mean a decrease in sugar consumption which would somehow contribute to the
health care of everyone. Petroleum excise tax could result to a cleaner environment.
Though it may be hard for a while and for some, this tax reform law is one of the ways (whether
we like it or not) for nation-building, hoping that one day, all our sacrifices will be worth it. I am optimistic
that this will shape the destiny of our national economy in the years to come which will benefit our less
fortunate brothers and sisters. After all, I always believe in the cliché’ “No Pain, No Gain”.