Bam Aquino: Gov’t can fund free college tuition program even without TRAIN law - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bam Aquino: Gov’t can fund free college tuition program even without TRAIN law

Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said that the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law should not hinder the government from continuing to implement the free college education program.
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The government, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, had said that there is an P70 billion amount of revenue that the country could gain with the rollback of the excise tax on petroleum products.

With this, the president says that taxes are needed in funding the government’s social programs, this includes education.
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"So ang tao kailangan bumayad. We have so many ambitious projects, trying to keeping up with the modern trend of education that giving it free, almost free for all," the President said.

The Department of Finance said that if the TRAIN law is suspended, the government will have a hard time in continuing and developing their infrastructure program and funding the free tuition program, as well as increasing the salaries of government personnel.

Aquino, on the other hand, said that the government is more than capable to keep on funding the free tuition program even without the TRAIN law, and it should not be used as an excuse.
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"May iba namang pagkukunan ang gobyerno ng budget. Sa totoo lang malaki pa ang hindi nagagamit na pondo. Bakit kailangan i-hostage ang libreng kolehiyo?" said Aquino.

He added that the administration has been underspending, leaving the government agencies untouched allotted funds, with about P390 billion in 2017. The budget for free college education for 2018 is at P41 billion.

Mahalaga na alam ng Pangulo ang totoong numero. Mahirap nang magdesisyon kapag mali mali ang binibigay na impormasyon,” he said.
 Photo credit to the owner

Photo credit to the owner

Aquino also said that government economic managers had assured the Senate that inflation will not go any higher than the four percent mark, but last month, inflation reached 4.6%.

He said that the government should reassess their priorities and not giving education the proper funding means the government does not think this is important.

"Isa pa, hindi namin hahayaan sa Senado na hindi mapondohan ang batas na ito, na layong suportahan ang mahihirap ng Pilipino na umasenso sa tulong ng edukasyon," he added.