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House leader seeks measures to mitigate high inflation impact

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House leader seeks measures to mitigate high inflation impact
Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero called for urgent actions from fellow lawmakers as he expressed alarm on the increase in consumer prices to a 40-month high of 4.9 percent in April.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A House leader yesterday pushed for immediate measures to mitigate the impact of rising inflation in the country.

Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero called for urgent actions from fellow lawmakers as he expressed alarm on the increase in consumer prices to a 40-month high of 4.9 percent in April.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed it is a big jump from 4 percent in March and 4.1 percent in April last year.

In a statement, the economist-lawmaker cited the need for Congress to support the actions of the executive branch and swiftly approve a set of measures to lower the country’s inflation rate.

Romero stressed that the first measure that the legislative branch must pursue is to unbundle fuel prices.

“The unbundling of fuel prices must happen. Congress must resist the strong lobby against fuel price,” he suggested.

Romero said the government should also give utility regulators such as the Energy Regulatory Commission, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Local Water Utilities Administration “additional power to reduce electricity and water costs borne by consumers.”

“Remaining Malampaya funds must also be used in a targeted way to cut fuel price,” he said.

Romero further explained that the government must prioritize public service over income generation.

“Some components of commuter transport fare can be removed. The service contracting scheme for (National Capital Region or NCR) buses can be expanded to include some trips of inter-island ferries and provincial buses,” he pointed out.

Romero said there should also be service contracted ferries for routes between NCR and Bataan-Zambales and Cavite to Manila.

“Islands like Catanduanes, Marinduque and Romblon should also have ferry service contracting, also known as government-subsidized Libreng Sakay,” he added.

MIKEE ROMERO

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