Arroyo happy after inflation eases to 6% in November
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday said she was elated after the inflation rate eased to 6 percent in November, as she underscored the need to swiftly act on the root cause of inflation.
“I’m very happy to hear about the easing inflation,” Arroyo said in an interview.
The Pampanga congresswoman also stressed the need to immediately detect and act on the cause of the increase in general prices of commodities.
“I guess the moral of the story is, when there is a supply side inflation, then we increase the supply. But we should do it as soon as we detect the supply side inflation,” she added.
But Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares warned that the “still high 6% inflation rate” for November was bound to increase even more due to the natural increase in demand of goods in December and the decision of the Duterte administration to proceed with the scheduled excise taxes on oil products this January.
“The move of the Department of Finance (DOF) to lift their planned suspension of the second tranche of the oil excise tax this coming January will definitely jack up prices anew because the excise tax on diesel and bunker fuel will jump to P4.50/ liter next year, while gasoline will have a P9/liter excise tax in the same period,” Colmenares said in a statement.
“Given the multiplier effect of oil prices on power, transportation and other basic utilities and goods, such a substantial increase will tend to jack up prices. We felt that this year and we will feel it again, despite the DOF’s state of denial” he added.
Zarate, meanwhile, lamented how the Duterte administration, was “gambling with the prices of goods with the continued implementation of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law” instead of “heeding the strong clamor of our people to abolish the regressive taxes.”
“When oil prices in the international market begins to increase due to heightened demand and reduced production, then oil prices in the country would again jack up,” he added.
Since the implementation of TRAIN law last January, an excise tax of P2.50 a liter was imposed on diesel and bunker fuel. This is scheduled to go up to P4.50 in 2019, and P6 in 2020. The excise tax on gasoline also increased to P7 this year and is set hike to P9 next year, and to P10 in 2020. /muf
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