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Is PNoy admin better than Duterte’s? Sonny Angara calls out economic team for pressuring Congress on tax reform bill

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Senator Sonny Angara is not amused by the pressure being put on by the administration’s economic team on Congress to pass the comprehensive tax reform package proposed by the Department of Finance.

Angara, chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee, called out in particular Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia for warning that failure to pass the so called Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill will lead to “dark ages” for the country as the government will be unable to finance its ambitious infrastructure program.

“That makes it appear that they’re trying to put us in a corner. Yun ang gusto nila. Parang, ‘pag hindi ninyo ginawa ‘yan eh kasalanan ninyo kung magka leche-leche ang bansa’,” he said Wednesday (May 31).

Angara disputed Pernia’s claims that the non-passage of the said measure could limit the government’s capability to roll out key infrastructure projects as such was not the case as proven by the previous administration.

“The Aquino administration was able to build a lot of infrastructure. It was able to grow the economy by six percent with only raising sin taxes. Bakit, hindi nila kaya ‘yun?” he asked.

Angara said the executive branch’s warning to Congress seems a way to set up lawmakers for failure.

“Kumbaga, kung hindi natin ipanasa yung gusto nila eh kasalanan namin kung bumagsak ang economy? Bakit kami ba ang nasa manibela? Hindi naman kami ang may hawak ng manibela. Sila ang may hawak, nakasakay lang kami dun,” he said.

Since the House of Representatives has just passed its version of the TRAIN bill, Angara said Senate will start discussions on it when the second regular session starts on July 24. He said that while the measure’s approval lremains a priority, he said what they might come up with “may not be exactly what is being pushed by the Executive.”