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•Increased prices of products and other services

Due to reduced taxes, the government need to make up for loss of revenue. Because of this, certain
good will have higher taxes. Buyers and consumers should expect higher prices for fuel and gas,
electricity, vehicles, tobacco, and other products and services.
Though income taxes will greatly decrease for almost all employees, they would need to spend more
money on things that they might need.
•Increase in DST and dollar deposit
Aside from increased prices of goods, Roque also said documentary stamp tax (DST), which is a tax
levied on special documents, papers, agreements, etc., increased 50 percent to 100 percent, except
for property, savings and nonlife insurance.
“Foreign currency deposit units increased from 7.5 to 15-percent final tax on interest income. Capital
gains of non-traded stocks increased from 5 to 10-percent to 15-percent final tax on net gains only,”

Those opposed to the TRAIN Act argue otherwise.

They contend that the reduction in income tax is rendered meaningless by the
tremendous increase in the taxes to be imposed on consumer goods, prime
commodities, medicines, electricity, and fuel. In particular, the prices of gasoline and
fuel products are expected to increase by three to four pesos per liter.

In turn, the marked increase in fuel prices will trigger a corresponding increase in the
cost of transporting people and goods, which will inevitably increase the prices of
practically everything else. Moreover, the labor sector will demand an increase in
wages, which will also add to the cost of manufacturing goods and the delivery of

Since the additional tax will increase the selling price of every consumer product, the
twelve percent value added tax (VAT) currently imposed on every sale of consumer
products will be computed against a higher selling price, which will necessarily mean a
larger VAT on the sale of what are already very expensive prime commodities to begin

Critics of the TRAIN Act lament that the new tax legislation not only increased the taxes
on prime commodities, but also reduced the tax on the importation of luxury
vehicles. The rationale for this manifestly pro-rich provision of the TRAIN Act is a
The critics maintain that it is easy for politicians to defend the TRAIN Act because
politicians wallow in power, wealth, and privilege. More specifically, politicians have
generous expense accounts by which practically everything they purchase, such as
groceries, airline tickets, and automobile fuel, are paid for by the taxpaying public. In
other words, it’s easy for members of Congress to impose higher taxes on basic
commodities since they are hardly affected by such tax hikes.

It is also pointed out that the TRAIN Act comes at a bad time because many
government officials have been wasting public funds.

Millions of pesos worth of dengue vaccines bought by the Department of Health from
abroad have turned out to be unsafe. Those vaccines are expiring soon, and there is
no assurance that a refund will be forthcoming.

The Commission on Audit revealed that over a billion pesos raised from the infamous
road users’ tax have been spent illegally by the Road Board. State auditors also
disclosed that officials of the office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
have embezzled P662 million mostly in the use of luxury vehicles.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista wastes public money on the purchase of
decorative tiles bearing his initials, and in their installation in many major roadways in
the city.

Officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office spent millions of pesos for an
office Christmas party last December.

The chiefs of the Maritime Industry Authority, the Dangerous Drugs Board, and the
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor went on several unnecessary overseas
trips at the expense of the taxpayers. They were all fired by President Duterte.

Many judicial officials go on overseas trips which are either useless or unnecessary.
During the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, an estimated P186 billion in
the Malampaya natural gas fund remained unaccounted for by his finance, budget, and
treasury officials.

Also under Aquino III, numerous government officials identified with the Liberal Party
were part of an all-expense paid junket to The Netherlands to watch a hearing on the
international arbitration case the Philippines filed against Communist China regarding
Chinese military expansionism in the West Philippine Sea. Many of those officials,
including then House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and then Justice Secretary Leila de
Lima, were not even needed there.

Thus, if those needless expenditures of public funds did not take place, the TRAIN Act
may not be necessary to enact at all.

At the end of the day, the fact that remains is that questioning the constitutionality of a
tax legislation is always an uphill legal battle. That’s because the power of the state to
impose taxes is one of its inherent powers. Thus, the TRAIN Act is presumed valid and
its oppositors must prove otherwise in the Supreme Court.