‘MAMAMAYAN MUNA’ | Postpone TRAIN, not midterm elections – Hontiveros
4 months ago
JULY 12, 2018 – Senator Risa Hontiveros urged Congress to cancel the implementation of the tax reform program of the government instead of the 2019 elections.
The opposition senator said a proposal to postpone the midterm polls to give lawmakers enough time to tackle and pass a law to shift to federalism is ridiculous.
“We legislators should set our priorities straight. What needs to be cancelled is not the midterm elections but the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act,” Hontiveros said.
“Instead of advancing narrow political interests such as prolonging terms of public office through an unnecessary postponement of elections, what Congress needs to do is protect the people’s economic rights and welfare,” she added.
Hontiveros also said that postponing the elections to give way to deliberations on federalism is “a great disservice to the proposed new system of governance.”
She suspects that President Rodrigo Duterte’s federalism is just an excuse to prolong the term limits of his political allies.
The senator then challenged fellow lawmakers to join her in pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1671 otherwise known as the “Bawas VAT” bill, which seeks to provide relief for the lower economic deciles of the population affected by the TRAIN Law by lowering the existing VAT rate to 10% from the current 12%.
Earlier, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez proposed for a no election scenario in 2019 to be able to focus on federalism shift.
But Malacañang has assured the public that the midterm elections will push through unless the new proposed federal charter will be ratified.
“Hangga’t hindi po nababago ang petsa ng halalan na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas, ipatutupad ng Presidente, matutuloy ang eleksyon sa 2019,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Malacañang.