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Measures vs inflation pushed

/ 05:38 AM May 07, 2022
Two lawmakers have urged the implementation of effective measures to curb the impact of April’s 4.9-percent inflation rate, which is higher the government’s target range of 2 to 4 percent.

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Two lawmakers have urged the implementation of effective measures to curb the impact of April’s 4.9-percent inflation rate, which is higher the government’s target range of 2 to 4 percent.

House deputy speaker and 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero noted that without an adequate response, “elevated inflation does not look like it will subside soon.”

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“It is therefore necessary for Congress to support executive action and swiftly approve an effective set of anti-inflation measures,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Regulators, like the Energy Regulatory Commission, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Local Water Utilities Administration, should find “more tools to reduce electricity and water costs borne by consumers.”

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“The Remaining Malampaya funds must be used in a targeted way to cut fuel prices. The unbundling of fuel prices must happen. Congress must resist the strong lobby against fuel price,” he said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority on Thursday reported that inflation went up by 0.9 percent last month, from the 4.9 percent inflation rate recorded on March, amid price increases attributed to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

April’s 4.9 percent inflation rate is the highest since January 2019. The last time inflation went beyond the government’s target range was in November 2021, when it reached 4.2 percent.

Prioritize public service

BHW Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, for her part, stressed that the government’s local ports should prioritize public service and not income generation with the higher inflation rate.

She said cargo shipping costs must go down by reducing by 50 percent the cargo fees charged on the transportation of fuel, farm and seafood harvests, food, and basic consumer items.

“Some components of commuter transport fare can be removed. The service contracting scheme for the National Capital Region buses can be expanded to include some trips of inter-island ferries and provincial buses,” Co said in a separate statement.

She also suggested a service contracting scheme for ferries with routes between Metro Manila and the Bataan-Zambales area, and Cavite to Metro Manila.

“Islands like Catanduanes, Marinduque and Romblon should also have ferry service contracting also known as government-subsidized ‘Libreng Sakay,’” she added.

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TAGS: Congress, Inflation, Michael Romero
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