Palace: Pangilinan claim on inflation just politicking
Malacañang on Thursday dismissed as a mere politicking the claim of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan that the government has not done anything to address the soaring prices of commodities.
“We find it unfortunate that Senator Francis Pangilinan is still milking the issue of inflation considering prices have gone down,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“His claim that the government has not done any concrete action to address the increasing prices of goods is out of touch with reality and is certainly another form of politicking to discredit the Administration,” he added.
Pangilinan earlier lamented what he called government’s failure to arrest the rising prices in the market as inflation in October stayed at 6.7 percent.
The October inflation is the same rate of increase in prices of basic commodities last September which is a nine-year high. It is also higher than the estimate of the President Duterte’s economic managers.
The prices of rice, vegetables, fish and other agricultural produce have started to ease amid measures implemented by the administration to reduce inflation.
The opposition senator also renewed his call to suspend the excise tax on fuel products, ensure the effective implementation of the unconditional cash transfer program for the poor and fix the National Food Authority (NFA) leadership to ensure that they abide by their mandate in regulating the price of rice.
Panelo noted that inflation rate already peaked and would ease in the coming months as a result of the steps taken by the current administration.
The Palace official said that the President was reviewing the recommendation of his economic managers to suspend the second tranche of oil excise taxes.
On the implementation of the unconditional cash transfer program for the poor, Panelo said “impoverished countrymen will get sufficient aid from this anti-poverty program once the database for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Progran (4Ps) has been properly verified.”
“Our goal is to prevent a repeat of leakages in the 4Ps system as what occurred during the previous administration, wherein spurious beneficiaries and duplicate entries were included in the database,” he said.
Panelo also said that Duterte already acted on the NFA leadership mess by reverting it back to the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
In May 2014, then-President Benigno Aquino III removed the NFA from DA control and put it under the Office of the President when he named Pangilinan as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.
“We guarantee that this administration is not taking the issue of rising prices sitting down. We are doing all we can to make sure that there is food in every Filipino family’s table,” he said. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.