By Camille A. Aguinaldo, July 15 2018; Business World


Image Credit to Business World (bworldonline.com)

THE Senate committee on public services will resume its regional inquiry on Wednesday, July 18, into the effects of the tax reform law on public services and utilities in Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental.

In a statement on Sunday, committee chair Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares said she will seek updates from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) if it has delivered on its promise to implement its fuel vouchers program to jeepney drivers.

“We want to know about the process of distributing of the vouchers to public utility jeep operators, the government assistance due to increase prices of gasoline, and the added four million family-beneficiaries under the government’s unconditional cash transfer,” she said in a statement.

“We need to hear if the promise of the DoTr to give subsidies is true or beneficiaries, especially drivers in Mindanao(,) haven’t received it yet. What is important is helping out our fellow citizens now,” she added.

Officials from the DoTr, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DoF), Department of Energy (DoE) were invited to the hearing. Also expected to attend are Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, Vice-Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, and Mindanao transport leaders.

Malacañang earlier assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the DoTr will fully implement the social mitigating measures provided under the TRAIN law in July.

The Senate panel will also tackle various measures seeking to create district offices of the Land Transportation Office in Mindanao and franchise applications of local broadcast stations.

Ms. Llamanzares’ Senate panel earlier held public hearings in Iloilo City, Iloilo, and Legazpi, Albay.

Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law provides social mitigating measures for Filipinos to cope with inflation, such as unconditional cash transfer, fuel vouchers for jeepney franchise holders, rice discounts and 10% transportation fare discounts for minimum-wage earners, and free skills training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).