Senate panel to hold hearing on TRAIN in CDO
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - July 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on public services headed by Sen. Grace Poe is set to conduct its third hearing on the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law on the transport sector and utilities on Wednesday in Cagayan de Oro City.

Poe said she intends to find out from government representatives if the subsidies under TRAIN have already been distributed to the beneficiaries, seven months into the implementation of the law.

“We want to find out if the vouchers have been distributed to the operators of public utility jeeps, as well as the assistance for the rise in the cost of fuel and the coverage of four million other families to the unconditional cash transfer program of the government,” Poe said.

“We need to listen to their concerns about whether or not the promise of the Department of Transportation to provide them with subsidies has been fulfilled and if they have not yet received these, especially drivers based in Mindanao,” Poe said.

After conducting similar hearings in other parts of the country, Poe has called on the executive branch to immediately release the subsidies to the beneficiaries, including the fuel vouchers for jeepney drivers, fare discounts and rice subsidies to low-income earners and financial aid to poor families and indigent senior citizens.

The hearing will be held at the University of Science and Technology Southern Philippines’ Engineering Complex in Cagayan de Oro City.

Invited to the hearing are Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, Vice Mayor Rainier Uy and Mindanao transport leaders, among others.

The committee will also take up the various measures seeking to create district offices of the Land Transportation Office in Mindanao, as well as franchise applications of local broadcast stations.

Several senators have been pushing for the suspension of the increases in the excise tax on fuel because of its impact on inflation.

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