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Hoy gising! Bam urges economic managers to address record-high inflation

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Wake up!

Senator Bam Aquino addressed this call to the government’s economic managers amid the unabated increase in the price of basic food items.

He appealed to them to “act quickly on the rising prices of goods and services after the inflation rate hit an over-nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August.”

“Gumising na po kayo, nasa krisis na ang bansa,” said Aquino, in response to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s report on the country’s inflation rate.

“Matagal nang naghihintay ng ayuda ang taumbayang nalulunod sa taas presyo ngunit hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin tayong nakikitang malinaw na kilos at plano mula sa pamahalaan,” he said on Wednesday.

Based on initial computations, an average Filipino family which spends around P2,400 for food last year now needs P3,200 to buy the same.

The impact is much worse for the poorest 30 percent of the population who are known to spend up to 60 percent of their budget on food.

Aquino asked concerned government officials to immediately address the rising inflation rate, which he primarily blamed on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Tama na po ang paghanap ng ibang masisisi. Ang hanapin nyo naman solusyon,” he said.

As part of the solution, Aquino filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the Bawas Presyo Bill, which aims to suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

“Nasa harap na ng ating economic managers ang solusyon ngunit patuloy pa rin nila itong binabalewala,” he said.

He called on economic managers to look into his measure and join the call for its urgent passage before the second round of excise tax increase on petroleum products under the TRAIN Law becomes effective in January 2019.

“Kung hindi ito gagawin ng ating economic managers, pagdating ng 2019 mamimilipit sila sa paghahanap ng solusyon para masuspinde ang TRAIN Law,” he said.

Vice President Leni Robredo backed the passage of the measure while members of the minority in the House –Miro Quimbo, Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Gabriel Bordado Jr., Raul Daza, Jocelyn Limkaichong, and Josephine Ramirez-Sato–have filed their own version of the bill.