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Gov’t has P195.18B unused TRAIN profit – Gabriela party-list

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Gabriela Party-list Cong. Arlene Brosas has called out the national government over P195.18-billion worth of unused profit during the first-year of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

During Wednesday’s plenary deliberations for the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Brosas revealed that the national government generated a whopping P195.18 billion in savings last year.

Brosas said the Duterte government seems to continue its underspending practice despite generating new revenues from the tax reform program.

“Ang lumalabas, may labis-labis na pondong hindi nagamit sa pagtatapos ng 2018. The DBM and the Duterte regime owe an explanation on this,” said Brosas

“Piniga ang ordinaryong mamamayan gamit ang dagdag buwis sa ilalim ng TRAIN simula 2018 para umano pondohan ang mga programa ng gobyerno,” she added.

Brosas stressed that governmen savings in 2018 were way larger than the TRAIN Law’s collections—P68 billion during the same period.

The latest revelation according to Brosas is a proof for the Duterte administration to finally repeal the TRAIN Law which describe as both “the regressive and anti-poor.”

Brosas said she had already requested the Department of Budget and Management a copy of its report on savings from 2016 to 2018, but she has yet to receive it from the agency.

Earlier this year, former House Majority Floor Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr alleged that the Duterte regime had P370 billion in savings in 2017.

The shift this year to cash-based budgeting system—which supposedly aims to push more efficient spending of government agencies—is not enough justification to sweep the issue on savings under the rug, according to Brosas.

“We cannot legislate an appropriations law for next year without examining the full report on how the previous savings were utilized by the Duterte regime. Ibinalik ba talaga lahat sa kaban ng bayan? O pinagkakitaan ng iilan?” Brosas asked.

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