Sotto, Arroyo to push for TRAIN 2

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) — Leaders of both chambers of Congress are keen to push for the  passage of the second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law (TRAIN 2).

Senate President Tito Sotto on Tuesday said he would file the proposed TRAIN 2 at the Senate on Wednesday to give the Senate Committee on Ways and Means enough time to review the package.

Sotto said Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua explained to him the benefits of the proposed tax measure, especially on micro, small and medium enterprises.

"Dito sa TRAIN 2 mukhang makikinabang talaga dito yung small and medium enterprises kaya malaking bagay yung maibaba yung binabayaran nilang taxes na ang mangyayari naman kasi mas lalakas ang negosyo nila kapag mas malaki ang income nila," he said.

[Translation: With TRAIN 2, it seems small and medium enterprises will really benefit that's why it's really a great help to lower their taxes to boost their businesses with higher income.]

'Yun namang rationalization of tax incentives na aming binabanggit na nakahiwalay na bill meron talaga dun sa loob ng TRAIN 2 at yung mga ilang daang bilyong pinakikinabangan ng malalaking korporasyon na hindi naman naibibigay sa atin sa coffers ng gobyerno eh dito maira-ationalize at maisa-saayos," he added.

[TRAIN 2 includes the rationalization of tax incentives. The billions of peso that big corporations enjoy but are not given to the government will be rationalized and fixed with TRAIN 2.]

TRAIN 2 aims to cut corporate income tax rates to 25 percent from 30 percent, and reform incentives to attract new and growing industries.

Senate Majority Leader Migs Zubiri had previously said that no senator is willing to sponsor the bill in fears of possible negative impacts given the implementation of the TRAIN law.

Meanwhile, the bill will be a priority at the House of Representatives.

This, as House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said her "first and foremost job" is to implement President Rodrigo Duterte's legislative agenda.

Arroyo, however, refused to give a possible timeline of the bill's progress at the lower chamber.

"I don't want to be very explicit about the timeline but it's a priority," she said.

Arroyo also stressed that the proposal should not be called TRAIN2 or the second part of the current TRAIN law.

"It's not TRAIN 2 because TRAIN 2 is misleading. This is corporate income incentives reform," she said.

The House Speaker also met with Duterte's economic managers over lunch on Tuesday to discuss inflation concerns.

The government had drawn ire for implementing the TRAIN law, which many blame for the continuous increase on the prices of commodities or inflation. Inflation hit five-year high last month, reaching 5.2 percent mark.

CNN Philippines' Robert Vergara, Joyce Ilas, and Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.