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‘Wag isisi kay Trump! Recto: Government should accept blame for rising inflation


Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Sunday said a big part of the country’s soaring inflation problem–now at 6.4%– is “self inflicted.”

The senator made the remark when asked to comment on the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte blaming United States President Ronald Reagan for the Philippines’ high inflation rate.

“World events, external factors are a given. That’s always the case. We must anticipate,” Recto said in a text message.

“In any situation there are both opportunities and threats. They are internal,” he said.

The looming trade war and conflicts around the world will affect the global economy, he said.

“I suggest our economic managers anticipate both threats and opportunities,” Recto said.

He added, “With regard to agriculture we no longer can afford greater government participation.”

He raised the need to “incentivize private sector investment and credit to agriculture to increase productivity.”

“Give farmers their land titles. Allow for land consolidation, private sector investment in technology and mechanization,” Recto said.

He said the government should reduce tariffs on agriculture products with regard to interest rates and foreign exchange.

“The depreciation of the peso is also a big factor in increasing prices. The BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) can improve its management of both interest and the exchange rates,” he said.

Recto said the Department of Finance (DoF) must “scrap” second phase of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

“It’s bad timing,” he said. TRAIN 2 aims to rationalize corporate taxes.

“TRAIN 2 will increase prices , increase cost for business and will not attract investments at this time,” Recto said.