MANILA – Albay representative Joey Salceda said Monday alternative solutions to raise inflation after the rejection of the Tariff and Related Affairs Committee (CTRM) of the proposal to reduce the tariffs for certain imported foods.
Malacañang also clarified that nobody in the cabinet supported the suggestion to introduce a zero rate for some agricultural products. These foods include feed wheat, maize, vegetables and fish.
Salceda said the government should take the momentum and bring inflation back to the four-percent zone, noting that inflation may well exceed 6 percent this month without aggressive economic measures.
"There is little time for debate, this decision puts different pressure on other measures to stop the momentum, to avoid a wage-price spiral and to bring inflation back to a low 4 percent zone," Salceda said.
Salceda urged President Rodrigo Duterte to issue a directive to all supervisory regulatory authorities, such as the water regulator, the toll regulator and the Energy Regulatory Commission, to postpone approval or suspend the implementation of regulated price adjustments. .
Salceda also called on the National Food Authority to import more, distribute the PHP27 per kilogram of rice more aggressively and target poor communities.
The legislator said that "greater pressure" on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) "lies in the tightening of monetary policy" in order to limit the aggregated demand that could further jeopardize the growth objectives. "
Salceda emphasized that food inflation of 7.1 percent drove inflation at 5.7 percent in July.
He said that between the foodstuffs fish contributed 0.7pts, meat – 0.4 and vegetables – .4pts to the total inflation. "Alone or together, they are certainly not small."
He noted that reducing tariff barriers would "shift the supply curve to the right" so that existing players will act "reasonably competitive" when pricing their products on the risk of new players.
Earlier it was reported that President Duterte issued an executive order, which reduced the tariffs for certain food imports as Congress took a break this week.
The recommendation to reduce tariffs for these imported products was one of the measures against inflation proposed by speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the economic team at Duterte.
Inflation reached its highest point in five years with 5.7 percent in July due to the rise in food and non-alcoholic drinks prices, according to the Philippine Authority for Statistics.