Palace working closely with House leadership to control inflation - Roque
Malacanang on Sunday said the economic managers of President Rodrigo Duterte were eyeing on lowering the tariffs on meat and fish imports to reduce inflation.
"To cushion the impact of rising prices, pushing for lower tariffs on meat and fish imports is one of the proposed measures discussed during the recent meeting between President Duterte’s economic managers and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Arroyo met with the Economic Managers Group last July 31.
He added the "economic managers are happy to be continuing to be working closely with the leadership of the legislature."
In a Facebook post, Albay 2nd District Rep. Clemente Joey S. Salceda said Arroyo, and the economic leaders in the House, recommended to the Duterte administration’s economic managers five anti-inflation measures during their meeting.
"The House under the leadership of Speaker Arroyo proposed to the EMG measures were considered based on the magnitude of a commodity's contribution to the 5.2% July Inflation," said Salceda, who was Arroyo's economic adviser when she was still the president.
One of the proposed measures is for Duterte to consider reducing tariff on fish and meat product imports to zero but this needs Congress to be in recess.
Fish and meat products contributed 0.6 and 0.3 percentage points on the 5.2 percent July inflation.
Also, Arroyo recommended that the Department of Energy considers deferring z-ethane required additional content in oil products as well as the new feed-in-tariff allowance which increased from P0.18 to P0.26/kwh as this alone contributed to a P3.16/kwh increase in Meralco rates.
The House leadership also proposed the need for the National Food Authority to purchase 500,000 metric tons of well-milled rice with staggered deliveries over five to six months.
On the peso depreciation, Arroyo and the House economic group recommended to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to study the possibility of increasing the policy rates by 25 basis points after two 25 bps have already been implemented to cleanse market both consumer and business expectations of any potential speculative opportunistic content.
Most Filipinos have been complaining about the increasing inflation the past months as they blamed it to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
But the government has said that the contribution of the TRAIN law, which became effective last January, was less than one percent as the external factors, such as the rising prices of oil in the world market, have contributed much on the inflation the past months. Ella Dionisio/DMS