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Hoy gising! Duterte urged to take drastic steps to curb inflation

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Two opposition lawmakers have urged the Duterte administration to take more drastic steps to tame the country’s inflation that reached another 10-year high last September.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said the latest 6.7 percent surged in inflation was “like a runaway train.”

“There’s already widespread anguish for government to do something more drastic to stop this,” said Baguilat.

Baguiat stressed that national government should suspend the implementation of excise taxes under the TRAIN Law and compensate for diminished revenues with greater collection efficiency and serious anti-corruption campaigns in all offices including Malacañang.

“What should not be minimized is consumer spending which is the country’s economic driver. Hyperinflation diminishes spending for both rich and poor,” he said.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said the Duterte administration “can no longer deny that the surge in prices is caused by TRAIN Law.”

“Ang siyam na buwan na patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin ay hindi na biro at napakalaki nang pasakit sa taumbayan lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan,” he said.

Alejano strongly urged the government to take immediate and serious actions to suppress the rising prices starting with the suspension of excise taxes on fuel.

“The administration better stop downplaying the 6.7 percent inflation rate. Kung titingnang maiigi, mas mataas pa nga ang inflation rate sa mga probinsya na umaabot ng lagpas 10 percent. Ang malaking bahagi din ng kasalukuyang inflation rate ay dahil sa taas-presyo ng pagkain na nasa 9.7 percent. Sikmura na ng mga Pilipino ang tinatamaan dito sa araw-araw,” said Alejano.

He said the concern on possible revenue loss could be addressed through more efficient tax collection.