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Sonny Angara says TRAIN law not behind high cost of fuel

Re-electionist Senator Sonny Angara on Friday said the controversial TRAIN Law should not be blamed for the increase in fuel prices, which is blamed for the high cost of basic commodities.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV's Ikaw Na Ba? series of senatorial interviews, Angara said the increase in fuel prices has more to do with the world market than the TRAIN, or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, law.

"Yung iba sinisisi sa TRAIN law yung pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, pero kung tutuusin ang pinataw na buwis ay P2 [per liter] pero ang itinaas na presyo ng langis ay nasa P12 hanggang P15," he said.

"So yung sinisisi na P10 hindi dahil sa batas yun, dahil yun sa pandaigdigang merkado," added Angara, who chairs the ways and means committee in the Senate.

Asked on whether the controversial law is weighing his candidacy down or not, the son of the late Senator Edgardo Angara said it's "neutral."

Angara noted that many taxpayers welcomed the decrease in their income taxes that was made possible by the law.

"Kung dati-rati P100,000 nadi-deduct dun sa kita ng isang pangkaraniwang empleyado tulad ng call center agent, nurse o sundalo, ngayon pag P250,000 [a year] pababa, wala na pong kaltas yon," he said.

Angara, however, agreed on the law's unpopularity but blamed it on "timing," stressing it was passed by Congress at the time prices of fuel products were oil price hikes were being implemented almost on a weekly basis.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed TRAIN into law in December, which effectively expanded the value-added tax base and reduced personal income taxes starting 2019. —KBK, GMA News