Two lawmakers urged the implementation of effective measures to limit the impact of April’s 4.9% inflation rate, which is above the government’s target range of 2 to 4%.
Deputy House Speaker and 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero noted that without an adequate response, “high inflation doesn’t appear to be easing any time soon.”
“It is therefore necessary for Congress to support executive action and quickly approve an effective package of anti-inflation measures,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Regulators, such as the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, and the Local Water Utilities Administration, should find “more tools to reduce electricity and water costs borne by consumers”.
“Malampaya’s remaining funds should be used in a targeted way to reduce fuel prices. Unbundling of fuel prices must take place. Congress must stand up to the powerful lobby against fuel prices,” he said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said on Thursday that inflation rose 0.9% last month, compared to the 4.9% inflation rate recorded in March, amid price hikes attributed to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The inflation rate of 4.9% in April is the highest since January 2019. The last time inflation exceeded the government’s target range was in November 2021, when it hit 4.2 %.
Priority to public service
BHW representative Angelica Natasha Co, for her part, pointed out that local government ports should prioritize public service and not revenue generation with the higher inflation rate.
She said freight shipping costs must come down by reducing freight charges charged for transporting fuel, agricultural crops and seafood, food and basic consumer items by 50%.
“Certain components of the commuter fare may be waived. The National Capital Region Bus Service Contract Program may be expanded to include certain inter-island ferry and provincial bus routes,” Co said. in a separate press release.
She also suggested a service contracting program 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 a ferry service contract also known as ‘Libreng Sakay’, subsidized by the government,” she added.
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