More Dabawenyos not pleased with tax reform law

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 March) – More Dabawenyos don’t favor the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law saying it has resulted in higher prices of oil products and other goods, a survey conducted by the Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO) of the University of Mindanao showed.

Administered between January 28 and February 9, 81% of the 1,200 respondents across the city’s three congressional districts said they are aware of the new tax reform system.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez monitors prices of basic commodities at a mall in Davao City on January 12, 2018. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

Of the respondents who said they’re aware, at least 47% said they don’t favor TRAIN, 34% said they favor, and 17% could not decide as they are still in “the wait-and-see behavior of the law’s impact on them, not only on the escalating prices but perhaps on the many effects, both positive and negative, that they have not experienced as yet.”

The survey said 62% of Dabawenyos now feel the effect of the higher prices of market products, but only 16% pointed to TRAIN as the cause of higher oil prices.

On the other hand, 23% said they now have higher take home pay, and 20% noted a decrease in income tax.

“It may be surmised that people do not see the new tax law as primarily causing the volatile movement of the oil price; the unstable oil price cannot be solely be due to the TRAIN,” the survey said.

It said among the goods that showed price increase are soda and other sweetened drinks.

It added a combined 43% of Dabawenyos recognize the positive effect of the law in the form of higher take home pay and lower income tax.

However, 41% of the respondents could not decide whether TRAIN’s long-term effect for the country is good or not. The law is good for the country, according to 28% of the respondents but 22% are opposed to it.

It added that male and female Dabawenyos belonging to the 18-29 age bracket strongly believe that the law is good for the country. Most of them are married and belong to income Class C or those who are earning between P10, 000 and P36, 000 a month. They are those who have obtained better education, college and masters’ degree holders, and have perhaps maximize the benefits of tax exemptions.

The respondents are composed of adults aged 21 to 40 years old (60%), 41 to 50 years old (17%), 51 to over 70 years old (14%), and 18 to 20 years old (9%).

Females comprise 50% of the sample, males 42% and LGBT 8%. The bulk of respondents belong to income Class C (56%). income Class D accounts for 31%, income Class E 11%, and combined income Class AB 4%.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said it’s not the tax reform law but profiteering by some businesses, among other reasons, that caused an increase in the year-on-year inflation in January this year.

Chua said in a press briefing in Malacañan on Thursday that the implementation of package 1 of TRAIN was unlikely the reason for the 3.95-percent inflation rate between January 2017 and January 2018.

He explained that most firms are selling food and non-food goods bought in 2017 yet and that the consequence of higher excise tax has not translated into inflationary effect yet. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)