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Sotto says senators not inclined to push TRAIN 2

Senate President Vicente Sotto III admitted Wednesday that majority of senators are not inclined to push for the second package of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law even if it was mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte during his third State of the Nation Address.

Sotto said this was because the promises and forecast made by economic managers when TRAIN 1 was being deliberated did not happen.

"Paso kami sa TRAIN 1 e. Hindi kami komportable sa naririnig namin na sabi nila walang inflation, e may inflation e," he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

Sotto called for a majority caucus Tuesday afternoon and then later that day met with all the senators in another caucus during the session to discuss the chamber’s legislative priorities and other issues.

Among the issues discussed was the second package of the TRAIN.

Spike in inflation rate 

Senators earlier scored the economic managers for failing to forecast a spike in inflation rate after it breached the 2 to 4 percent target range. 

They have also asked the delay in the implementation of social measures to mitigate the effect of TRAIN on poor people such as the cash transfer and fuel subsidy for drivers.

"Hindi maiiwasan na mag-init ang ulo ng members ng committee of ways and means dahil 'yun ang sinabi nila,” said Sotto.

He said the economic managers should instead check the bills pending in the Senate which would also achieve the goal intended by TRAIN 2.

“Kung TRAIN 2 ang pinag-iinitan nila, tignan nila yung dalawang bill na sinasabi namin na nakapending sa amin imbes na TRAIN 2 ang pag-usapan. Mas madali sa aming makipag-usap sa kanila pagka ganun,” he said.

Sotto said of the six or seven priority bills mentioned by the President, four or five are already being discussed in the Senate, including the proposed Land Use Act.

“Ang version kasi ng Senado, ang gusto namin ang magpatupad ‘yung local government units kasi sila ang nakakaintindi ng kalupaan. Nung nakaraang cCongress ipinasa namin ‘yun, madali na sa amin yun,” he said. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News