Palace brushes aside tips on inflation given by Mar Roxas
Thanks, but no thanks, Malacañang told off former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who had ventured several suggestions on how the Duterte administration could beat the rising prices of consumer goods in the wake of the devastation left by Typhoon “Ompong” (internaitonal name: Mangkhut).
“I haven’t heard what [Roxas] said, but because of his experience in Leyte, it’s better [that] he remains silent,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a radio interview on Wednesday.
“My message [to Roxas] is, if he will do what he did during [Supertyphoon] Yolanda, thank you very much, [but] never mind,” he said.
Roque said Roxas was “the one who perpetuated the neglect of those in Leyte because of politics.”
Conflicting reports faulted either Roxas or Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez for the delay in the delivery of goods and services to survivors of Yolanda, which left at least 7,000 people dead and thousands homeless when it whipped Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
‘Time out’ from politics
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Roxas sought “time out” from politics between him and President Duterte, noting that the damage caused by Ompong was bound to create bigger problems for the country on top of the spiraling prices and limited supply of rice.
“We have different views on many things, but I think all Filipinos want this problem addressed. So let’s call a time out [on politics],” Roxas said.
He proposed, among other things, a presidential order to increase to 1.5 million metric tons the Minimum Access Volume of rice; removal of the usual requirements imposed by the National Food Authority on the importation of rice to allow in the private sector; an order asking Jollibee, other fast-food chains, supermarkets and all large users to independently source and import their own needs so they don’t have to share the national stockpile; inclusion of all farming families in the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, and, in the medium term, the repeal of taxes imposed on fuel and other basic goods under the Tax Reforms for Inclusion and Acceleration law.
Roxas and the Aquino administration had been heavily criticized for their handling of the relief efforts in Tacloban, Leyte, which bore the brunt of Yolanda.
According to the Roxas camp, the former interior secretary wanted a letter from an “uncooperative” Romualdez requesting aid, a part of protocol between the national government and local governments.
The Romualdez camp accused Roxas of using the tragedy as a platform to raise his profile for the 2016 presidential election.
Roxas ran but lost.
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