Cause-oriented groups’ call: Abolish TRAIN Law
Cause-oriented groups in Cebu are calling for the abolition of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law claiming that it has increased the rate of hunger in the Philippines.
Angel Trocio, secretary general of Gabriela Cebu, said that the TRAIN Law had heavily affected the trade industry with the dire effects felt mainly by both small scale businessmen and consumers.
“Naglisod atong mga manindahay og angkat sa produkto kay nagkamahal na kini, unya mas naglisod pa gyod silag baligya kay atong mga mamalitay naglisod pud og palit sa kamahal sa palitunon,” said Trocio.
(Our vendors are finding it difficult to get products as they are getting expensive. They are also having a hard time selling the products because consumers cannot afford to buy them.)
“In a sense, we are all affected by the Train Law, and we need to show our lawmakers that we do not agree to this law and that they should listen to the people,” she added.
Belinda Allere, secretary general of Panghugpong Kadamay, said the farmers had been among those who suffer most from the TRAIN Law with the prices of pesticides and other farming products increased but their harvest had remained low.
“Sila ang naghatag og pagkaon sa atoa apan sila ang gigutom og pag-ayo. (They are the ones that provide us food but they are the ones suffering from hunger),” said Allere.
In line with the World Food Day, member organizations of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Central Visayas gathered at the Carbon Market Unit 3 in Cebu City on October 16 to invite vendors and consumers to sign the petition of the abolition of TRAIN Law.
The group includes Gabriela Cebu, Kabataan Cebu, Alsa Kontraktual, Panghugpong Kadamay, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Amihan Peasant Women, Liwayway Workers Union, and United Vendors Association.
The groups are conducting a nationwide campaign to gather 1 million signatures for the cause. More than 5,000 signatures have already been gathered since July.
Consequently, from July to September, the Social Weather Stations reported that households experiencing involuntary hunger increased for about 900,000 compared with the second quarter of the year with over 3.1 million hungry Filipinos in September..
The hunger rate rose from 9.4 percent in June to 13.3 percent in September.
“TRAIN law is negatively affecting our food security in the nation. The price of our food has increased and the poor can no longer afford it. Basic commodities are becoming more expensive but our basic wages were not raised,” said Trocio.
BAYAN Central Visayas said that they were hoping that for the upcoming elections, senatorial and congressional candidates would make it part of their platforms to look into the disadvantages of TRAIN Law and would eventually abolish it when they sit in power.
They were also looking to gather the needed signatures not only to abolish the TRAIN Law but also to postpone the passing of the TRAIN 2 bill.
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